The U.S. economy delivered modest job growth, adding 156,000 jobs in September while the unemployment rate ticked up to 5%.
During an interview with FOX Business Network’s Countdown to the Closing Bell, U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said he wouldn’t call the jobs numbers a miss, and sees steady growth ahead.
“We see steady growth in the quality of jobs. Three quarters of these jobs were in three sectors that are really well-paying sectors, health care, construction and business and professional services which did the best,” Perez said.
Perez referred to the Census Bureau report from a couple weeks ago that shows the household medium income rising over 5% as a sign of continued progress in the labor market.
“When you look at bellwethers of where the economy is, the economists I speak to, they look at first time claims for unemployment. They look at the job numbers. They are looking at the wages and so we’ve got a lot good indicators here.”
As trade continues to be a central issue in the 2016 presidential campaign, it’s also partially blamed for the downfall in manufacturing jobs. Perez outlined two reasons why the U.S. economy has seen a decline manufacturing jobs, the strong dollar and the global economic downturn.
“When you are manufacturing something for export, and so many of our remarkable companies do just that, a higher dollar makes it harder to sell,” Perez told host Liz Claman.
When it comes to broad global economic downturn, Perez said, “Our economy has been moving well, but the rest of the world hasn’t been following suit. When you have these global headwinds, manufacturing is a sector that will feel it.”