Labor Secretary Alex Acosta communicated to The Daily Signal’s Rob Bluey about the Trump administration’s approach to job creation, reducing authority regulations, and what it’s like to work for President Donald Trump. Acosta communicated Thursday at Generation Next, a White House forum for millennials. An edited transcript of his Daily Signal interview is below.
Rob Bluey: You’re speaking to millennials today about the entrepreneurial economy. What is your advice for young people, or all Americans, as they enter the workforce?
Alex Acosta: We have seen so multiple changes over the past 10 years. And one of the best exciting is honestly an increase in options for all Americans because of this entrepreneurial economy.
As individuals are looking to take full edge of all the options out there because of technology, focus on skills, focus on getting those ability that are being demanded by the modern workplace.
Bluey: Job figures have come in much higher than predicted, specifically this last month. What do you attribute a few of the success that we’ve seen?
Acosta: The job figures are incredible. We’re at a 17-year low on unemployment, and merely yesterday, the Federal Reserve predicted that this year the unemployment rate is going to fall below 4 percent, and that is unheard of.
We’re seeing tax cuts that are creating fantastic opportunities. Americans are getting tax bonuses by the hundreds of thousands, companies are re-investing in America, and as they re-invest, they hire more people.
For every new piece of equipment, for every new forklift, you require a forklift driver. And so people are getting jobs. And we’re further seeing deregulation that’s honestly unleashing the economic might of America, and that’s what we need, that’s wonderful.
Bluey: What comes next? How do you sustain that momentum?
Acosta: Let’s make sure that those tax cuts continue, that we continue to backing the American economy and the American worker. The American workers elected President Trump because President Trump said, “I will look after you,” and that’s what he’s doing and he needs to continue to do.
Bluey: We focus a lot at The Daily Signal on telling stories, putting a human confront on a few of the policy issues. And occupational licensing is one of those issues, where a hair braider in Tennessee can’t get a job because of regulations. How are you tackling this as labor secretary?
Acosta: It’s such a awful issue. There was a time in America when only about 1 in 20 Americans needed a license to work. Now, nearly 1 in 3 Americans require a license, merely to work, to make a living. It is wrong.
Across the nation, more than 1,000 occupations now require licenses. And so we’re working with the states, because this is a authority issue and we require to recognize it’s a authority issue. We’re working with the states so that the states can have reciprocity with each other, they can recognize each other’s licenses. If licenses aren’t necessary, eliminate them. If they are needed for health and safety, then recognize other states’ licenses.
I’ll tell you where this is best unfair. Our military families. Military men and women serve the nation. And they move every two to three years from base to base. And their spouse has a honestly hard issue.
Do we protect the integrity of the people and move as a family? Or do we keep a job? Because when a spouse moves with his or her other spouse that’s serving in the military, the new authority doesn’t recognize the license of the non-military spouse. And that’s merely wrong.
Bluey: Jobs and the economy are a fantastic focus of President Trump’s. What’s it like as the labor secretary to work with him on this issue?
Acosta: There’s fantastic clarity. It’s jobs, more jobs, and even more jobs.
President Trump is so laser-focused on looking after the American worker and creating jobs and in putting the American worker first, and you see that, whether it’s in his trade policy or his tax policy or his labor policy. And so you fathom exactly what he wants.
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