'Historic' low unemployment is creating new problem for US business, Labor secretary says

'Wages are rising. It’s just an extraordinary economy right now'

American businesses are facing a new problem in the booming Trump economy: finding workers.

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After meeting with business leaders across the country, Eugene Scalia told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo, in his first interview since being sworn in as Labor secretary, that finding workers is one of the two or three biggest problems they are facing.

Overall unemployment is 3.5 percent — its lowest rate in 50 years — according to Scalia. He added that unemployment in the African American community is the lowest on record, while women are seeing their lowest unemployment in 70 years.

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“It’s just terrific when you look at the unemployment numbers and wages. You know, wages are rising. It’s just an extraordinary economy right now,” Scalia said.

Keeping such an economy going is challenging.

One of his principal tasks, and one of the focuses of President Trump, according to Scalia, is to help train workers and supply the workers American business needs to keep the booming economy rolling. He added that there has been a focus on apprenticeships over a four-year college to equip Americans with the right skills for the workforce.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, apprenticeships increased 56 percent from 2013 to 2018 and more than 238,000 individuals across the nation entered the apprenticeship system in 2018.

In a 2018 report, Deloitte suggested by 2028 an additional value add of $454 billion in U.S. manufacturing could be at risk if an insufficient supply of skilled labor prevents manufacturers from finding qualified workers.

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