Labor Secretary Marty Walsh drew a parallel Friday between the continued fight over reopening schools for in-person instruction and the April jobs report, which fell far short of experts’ predictions.
The economy gained 266,000 new jobs in April, bringing the unemployment rate to 6.1%.
Experts had estimated 1 million new jobs in April with a 5.8 percent unemployment rate – a missed mark that Walsh attributed to school and childcare facility closures.
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“Those are two barriers right now, in my opinion, that are keeping people from getting back into the workforce,” Walsh told CNBC on Friday. “Because their children are at home, they’re learning remotely or their childcare facilities aren’t open.”
“There have been investments made by the president in those areas,” he continued. “But we need to continue to make those investments so that people know that they can go back to work.”
The labor secretary’s comments come after revelations that the nation’s largest teachers’ union, the American Feder
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