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Perez Pushes Jobs During Visit To Cleveland

U.S. Department of Labor

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez was in Cleveland Thursday to promote the Obama Administration's effort to improve employment and working conditions. Brian Bull of member station WCPN in Cleveland reports.

Perez began by sharing the most recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which showed a strong upturn in the nation’s job picture.  
TPerez02:  “July was the sixth straight month north of 200-thousand, the first time that’s happened since 1997.  All told, we’ve had now 53 consecutive months of private sector job growth.” (:13)  
As to insuring a strong jobs forecast for the country, Perez pushed for increasing the national minimum wage to over 10 dollars an hour.  He also wants manufacturers to look into the American Apprenticeship Grant, a 100 million dollar initiative being launched this fall.  
TPerez03: “The president has an ambitious agenda to double the number of registered apprenticeships across this country…and apprenticeship is simply not for the traditional, skilled trades.  We have apprenticeship opportunities in IT, in cybersecurity, in health…and these are tickets to the middle class.” (:13)  
There are currently 375-thousand registered apprenticeships in the U.S.   
Cleveland is one of five cities the Labor Secretary is hitting before Labor Day.  While the national job figures are strong, Ohio itself led the country for job losses in July….to the tune of 12-thousand, 400 jobs.   
Perez dismissed those numbers, saying one month’s decline doesn’t indicate a trend.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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