Former Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta on Monday said the U.S. economy is “hungering” for “frontline workers” who “do things,” “sell things,” and “build things.”
Discussing recently unveiled unemployment figures on Newsmax’s “National Report,” Acosta said that “it’s been between 3.4% and 3.6% for one year now and, by all accounts, I think it’s going to stay at this level.
“You asked me about the McDonald’s layoffs on Monday. McDonald’s had announced layoffs at their corporate headquarters, and what we talked about then is that while a number of higher-earning workers are being laid off in the tech industry — by Facebook, by Google, by McDonald’s corporate — we need more front-line workers.
“Later last week, the new figures came out for job openings, and we had almost 10 million open jobs,” Acosta added continued. “If you look at the unemployment data that came out on Friday, you see that all the growth in the labor market and the employment had to do with individuals that don’t have college degrees.
“We are hungering for front-line workers, those Americans that do things, that sell things, that build things.”
Acosta said that one CEO said something last week about jobs and unemployment that he found “really interesting.”
“He said, ‘I can hire an MBA for $60,000 but I can’t hire a truck driver for $90,000,'” he said. “As long as we need those Americans to work, and as long as Americans aren’t willing to do those jobs, unemployment is going to stay right where it is.”
Acosta also said that when data from the Consumer Price Index and Producer Price Index comes out this week, he expects “those numbers to be far, far too high.”
“Estimates are at about 6%, and what this means is that for the Federal Reserve, they’re going to have to make a tough call,” he said. “We’re starting to look at recession, where a lot of pressure is on this economy, but inflation continues to be high and, for the average American, housing costs are even higher.
“The cost of groceries is higher, and so the Federal Reserve is going to have to keep pushing interest rates up until this inflation figure comes down.”
According to CME Group’s FedWatch tool, financial markets were leaning toward the U.S. central bank hiking rates by another 25 basis points at its policy meeting May 2-3.
Last month, the Fed raised its benchmark overnight interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point, but acknowledged financial market stress by saying it was close to pausing further rate increases.
It has hiked its policy rate by 475 basis points since last March from the near-zero level to the current 4.75%-5.00% range.
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