Please note: As of January 20, 2017, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.
Statement of US Labor Secretary Perez on December employment numbers
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez issued the following statement about the December 2016 Employment Situation report released today:
“The U.S. economy again demonstrated its strength in December. The economy added 156,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 4.7 percent, as more workers were drawn into the labor force. December saw the strongest wage growth since 2009; wages grew faster over the last year than at any point during the recovery. All told, the U.S. economy has added 15.8 million private-sector jobs since February 2010. We’ve experienced 75 months of continuous overall job growth, the longest streak on record, and over two years longer than the previous record.
Looking back on where we were eight years ago, I am proud of the unprecedented progress we have made together. Around this time in 2009, we saw 591,000 initial unemployment claims; last week, there were 235,000. The auto industry, once left for dead by some, continues to break sales records. Thanks to the grit and determination of the American people and businesses – coupled with sound policy decisions by the Obama administration – we have created more prosperity for all.
“Those sound policy decisions have made concrete improvements in the lives of American workers. We took action aimed at extending overtime protections to more than four million white-collar workers. We raised the minimum wage for hundreds of thousands of workers employed by federal contractors. We extended minimum wage and overtime protections to nearly two million home care workers. And the Affordable Care Act has insured 20 million Americans without “ruining the economy,” as some claim – the health care sector has added two million jobs since the law was signed in March 2010.
“There is still more work to do to keep the economy growing and ensure that workers can share in the prosperity they help to create. We know which policies can sustain and scale the progress we have made over the last eight years: raising the minimum wage, expanding access to paid leave, making child care affordable, and investing directly in infrastructure, to name a few. Congress and the next administration should do what we know works to lift up America’s working families.”