The October jobs report, released Friday morning, showed that employers added 171,000 jobs to the economy in October. And it had Labor Secretary Hilda Solis smiling during her appearance on Andrea Mitchell Reports.
“I think it’s another indication of our steady growth," Solis said. "171,000 jobs was a bit higher than the projected numbers were, and we saw this in sectors like professions and business, in tourism and leisure and also in health care."
As has generally been the case, government was one of the few sectors that was down, thanks to state and local layoffs, while the private sector accounted for all the growth.
Mitchell questioned the number of jobs total, pointing out that usually 250,000 jobs or more are needed to keep up with population growth and to show the economy is expanding. But Solis talked about the bigger picture.
“I will remind people that when the president took office and he first started, we lost 4 million jobs,” Solis said. “Now we have added 5.4 million jobs, that’s 1.2 million additional jobs that have come back. So we are somewhat out of the ditch, but we still need more help. We need cooperation.”
Solis also added that with the good news coming from the jobs report, the president and his team can now look at infrastructure development “to put construction workers back to work,” pass the American Jobs Act that will get teachers jobs and hopefully extend the payroll tax cut to put more money in people's pockets. They'll need help from the GOP Congress for all those items, though.
When Mitchell asked Solis about 10 percent unemployment rate among Hispanics, the Labor Secretary talked about the minority’s group enthusiasm for President Obama despite the numbers. “Obama focuses on job creations, and that opportunities are given to everyone,” she said.
“Don’t go back into the old policies that took us into the ditch, we’re coming out of the ditch now that we see job creation,” Solis said.