While campaigning for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, Thomas Perez, the Secretary of Labor, sat down with Chris Ryan for a discussion of job growth, wage disparity and the training of a 21st century work force. Secretary Perez is supporting Hillary Clinton because he is convinced that she is the person who can best continue the progress made during the Obama Administration.
Perez pointed to improvements in unemployment in the last seven or so years. The jobless rate was at 10% in 2009, and it is at 5% now. The auto industry was struggling when Obama came into office; and, recently, they reported that they had their best year ever and the best six year stretch of growth since World War II. Perez believes that Hillary Clinton will continue the progressive policies which will alleviate many concerns of people in the work force, such as, affordable child care and paid leave. In addition, he calls for building onto the Affordable Care Act and raising the minimum wage. Perez believes that Hillary Clinton’s moral compass compels her to work for groups in the work force who need a champion. He cited her efforts to end income inequality. Hillary Clinton’s North Star directs her to fight for workplace gender issues and to help end the disparity in minority unemployment.
To train the work force of the twenty-first century, the Secretary of Labor wants to expand apprenticeship programs and find ways to lower higher education costs. Another way to create jobs, which is supported by Secretary Perez and Hillary Clinton, is to build on the Infrastructure Bill of 2015. This $305 billion bi-partisan measure was passed last December, and it funds building roads, bridges, and rail lines over a five year period. Secretary Perez favors expanding a progressive tax system which would require the wealthy to pay their fair share.