Good News Comes on Heels of Labor Secretary Scalia’s Ohio Visit
By Terry Troy
While we are not out of the woods yet, the reopening of the economy is doing much better than even the most optimistic analysts predicted, adding 4.8 million jobs in June after an impressive 2.7 million gain a month prior, according to the June Jobs Report from the U.S. Department of Labor.
Unemployment continued to drop for the second straight month, as people headed back into the workplace. The unemployment rate dropped 2.2 percentage points from May to 11.1%.
Those numbers exceeded economists’ and analysts’ forecasts which had predicted an additional 3.23 million jobs and an overall unemployment rate of 12.5%, according to published reports.
“Today’s jobs report shows that our resilient economy continues to return more people to work, more quickly, than forecast,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia in a prepared statement. “It is heartening to see employment gains across nearly all demographics. The report reflects that we can return millions more Americans to work in the weeks ahead, provided we bear in mind that economic recovery must go hand-in-hand with safe practices and self-discipline.”
The good news came on the heels of Secretary Scalia’s visit to Columbus last Wednesday, where he participated in a roundtable discussion with officials from JobsOhio.
The Secretary highlighted the benefits of the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) agreement to Ohio workers and discussed the safe reopening of our national economy. The Secretary’s visit coincided with the start of USMCA.
It’s estimated that the USMCA will create as many as a half million or more jobs. USMCA requires that 75 percent of auto content be made in North America. USMCA also requires that at least 40-45 percent of auto content be made by workers earning at least $16 per hour.
Additionally, USMCA will strengthen the food and agriculture trade between the three countries. Ohio’s agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico are currently valued at $3.6 billion annually and support more than 29,200 Ohio jobs. USMCA will increase this even further by breaking down non-tariff barriers and opening significant new markets for Ohio agricultural products. The agreement also contains important new protections for U.S. intellectual property.
As a part of his trip to our state, Secretary Scalia also met with the management and workers at Whirlpool’s manufacturing facility in Marion.
“The business leaders and workers I met with today appreciate the importance of USMCA’s entry into force,” said Secretary Scalia. “President Trump delivered an historic agreement that represents a new era of fair and reciprocal trade. As our country bounces back from the coronavirus pandemic, USMCA will play a key role in job creation by leveling the playing field between American workers and our continental neighbors. I would like to thank Lt. Governor Husted and Senator Obhof for joining me today and being valuable partners in safely reopening America.”
“Governor DeWine and I were proud to be early supporters of the USMCA trade agreement,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “The USMCA will support job creation and American innovators, farmers, and workers. I’m grateful to Secretary Scalia for coming to Ohio to reinforce what this deal means for Ohioans.”
“USMCA is a better deal for America’s workers and job creators,” added Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof. “It will encourage our agricultural, manufacturing and automotive industries to flourish, and it will incentivize investment and growth in Ohio and across the Midwest. Today is a historic day for U.S. trade.”