Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia appeared on “Your World” on Friday, where he reacted to recent unemployment figures which show that after a 16-week drop, they are now rising. The report, Scalia said, was more mixed than negative.
“The good news in this report is that ongoing claims, that is, people who continue to receive UI, have actually dropped significantly by over a million. So it was mixed, ”Scalia told guest host Charles Payne. “I think we are receiving a warning from the southern and western states of the importance for the continued reopening of the economy to put the security measures into practice… the distancing, the masks are so important. “
“For me, they are actually part of what guarantees our freedom right now,” he added. “So I think we’ve had some really, really good economic news, overall, over the last few months. I think we can continue. ”
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Scalia commented on the recent unemployment negotiations in Congress.
“But we have to be careful about the negotiations in Washington. They are obviously in progress. And I think there is a broad recognition of the importance of getting a deal, ”he said. “And I think they’re working as fast as they can for that. ”
The secretary also addressed the $ 600 weekly unemployment benefit hike that expired Friday and responded to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s criticism of Republicans on the issue.
“We’ve learned that almost 70% of the people who make that $ 600 a week actually get more out of unemployment than they earned when they worked and let it go on. I think this cannot continue, ”said Scalia told me. “So I think the administration and the Republicans are interested in continuing to provide work assistance here. We know that there are millions of people who remain unemployed. Our primary focus, in fact, is on helping them get back to work. ”
Payne also asked Scalia about the potential impact of further closures on the country.
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“It’s a local decision, Charles. I wouldn’t want to comment when a particular jurisdiction has completed its closure, ”said Scalia. “We know that there are important health benefits to being open, just as there are significant health benefits to the health of our children and the openness of our schools.