Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta expects the number of new jobs created in President Donald Trump’s first year in office to hit nearly 2 million, he told reporters in a Thursday roundtable.
“However you ever look at it we’ve created a lot of new jobs,” Acosta declared, adding that “we may hit 2 million for the calendar year, we’ll probably be just under 2 million for the calendar year.” The secretary highlighted the drop in the unemployment rate to 4.1 percent and the Federal Reserve’s forecast of unemployment in 2018 falling even lower, which would make it “the lowest unemployment rate since the 60s.”
Acosta added that “this September we had the highest total employment level ever in the United States.”
A White House handout elaborated that 159,000 of the additional jobs were in the manufacturing sector, with another 57,000 in the mining and logging industries. Both job areas highlighted as priority growth areas by President Donald Trump throughout the 2016 campaign.
MarketWatch noted in a recent report that “the median jobs growth of 208,000 per month is the strongest for a president since Trump’s wedding guest Bill Clinton was in office.”
Acosta warned however that a skills gap remained between open jobs and workers to fill them pointing to the approximately 6 million unfilled jobs in the U.S. The secretary highlighted an initiative by the Trump administration to increase apprenticeship opportunities and remove barrier to entries for workers.
This barrier includes occupational licensing and the non-transferability of some licenses across state lines, which decreases the ability of workers to move or forces some spouses to give up a job in the event a family move is required.
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