A Snapshot of the American Workforce
WASHINGTON | May 1, 2019
It’s a good time to be an American worker. Job openings and wages are up, unemployment is down, and opportunities are vast. Today at a hearing on the policies and priorities of the Department of Labor (DOL), we got a better look at the American workforce and just how far we as a nation have come.
- Since the beginning of 2017, the economy has created 5.1 million jobs with 3.2 million created since the Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
- In 2018, average hourly earnings experienced the largest increase since 2009 with the strongest wage gains being experienced by the lowest decile of earners.
- Unemployment holds steady near historic lows.
- Even as employment increased, workplace deaths, injuries, and illnesses fell in 2017.
- Since DOL published a final rule expanding access to association health plans (AHPs), more than 30 major organizations in 14 states have established or announced their intent to establish an AHP to offer their employees affordable, high-quality health care coverage.
- Since President Trump established the National Council for the American Worker, more than 200 companies, associations, and labor organizations have pledged to create 7,452,470 new workforce development opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds.
- Since January 2017, nearly 500,000 Americans have participated in apprenticeships to gain on-the-job experience to build a successful life.
- In 2018, the Department’s programs connected more than 8,350 veterans with employment opportunities, helping contribute to the lowest veteran unemployment rate (3.5 percent) in 18 years.
- Thanks to a partnership between DOL and the Bureau of Prisons, inmates will soon have access to an apprenticeship program offering education in more than 120 skilled trades.
- Last year, the Department’s Wage and Hour Division recovered more than $304 million in back wages for more than 265,000 workers across the United States – more than any other year in the agency’s history.
Congressional Democrats continue to insist that the only way to help workers is by spending billions more taxpayer dollars and enacting countless new bureaucratic mandates. Committee Republicans, the Trump administration, and the Department of Labor have proven that free-market policies like tax cuts and deregulation create the real path to prosperity for American workers.
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