The United States is making "strong progress" with its unemployment rates after the coronavirus shutdowns earlier this year, Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia commented Monday about a report showing the nation's jobless numbers at 8.4 percent.
"It's a really good report," Scalia said on Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "It was a great way to head into Labor Day for the American worker. The experts watching the job markets were saying we weren't going to get there until maybe late next year."
He added that under President Barack Obama's administration and the "Great Recession," it took nearly three years to get unemployment down under 8.5%, but "the president, the country, we have done it in four months, so it's a very strong trend."
But still, Scalia said while he's optimistic because the gains were widespread across industry, there is still room for growth.
"Healthcare is an industry I'm still focused on," said Scalia. "(It's) down 700,000 jobs from where we were in February. Those are jobs that are so important. That's a growing sector of the economy, so I see more room to put more Americans back to work in the months ahead."
It's also important to help people who remain out of work, said Scalia, but President Donald Trump has made a series of actions over the past year, including starting out with reaching a deal on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade.
He also noted Trump worked on the first coronavirus relief bill with Congress to bring relief, including bonus unemployment pay, which expired in July.
But when Congress wouldn't come to agreement on extending the bonus money, Trump signed an executive order, said Scalia.
However, Democrats won't come back to the table for another relief bill, and Scalia said he gets the impression that Democrat leadership in Congress "is not focused right now on doing what's best for the country at this moment."
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