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U.S. employers added 272,000 jobs in May, the Labor Department reported on Friday morning, The growth was well above what economists had expected as hiring had gradually slowed. That’s an increase from the 232,000-job average over the previous 12 months. Acting Secretary of U.S. Department of Labor Julie Su talked with Native News Online Friday to share the good news on the latest data.

This Q&A has been edited for clarity and brevity below.

Native News Online: I understand there was a great jobs report this morning. Tell us the good news.

Acting Secretary Su: Yes, it was a good job report with evidence of continued, steady, and stable growth. There were 272,000 jobs created last month. The unemployment rate has now been at or below 4% for 30 months straight. That's the longest stretch since the 1960s and the labor force participation rate, especially for those primate workers, 25 to 54 remain very strong, and real wages are still up there, over via 4.1% so working families are doing better, and we're creating opportunity in communities all across the country.

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Native News Online:  What industry sectors are contributing to the growth? 

Acting Secretary Su:  The growth is across the board. Again, another sign of the overall strength of the economy, It's not over dependent on any one sector. We've seen growth in healthcare, in construction, in leisure and hospitality, government and education and so, and we're seeing real wage gains in those industries as well. So again, we're not just talking about jobs. We're talking about good jobs,

Native News Online: Well, that is good news for Native Americans; particularly tribes with Indian gaming facilities, which is considered leisure and hospitality. Is there anything else, as it relates to Native Americans, you want to say?

Acting Secretary Su: I'll say a couple things. One is that we are launching a good jobs summer tour. I launched it yesterday in Phoenix, where two Arizona cities signed onto our good jobs principles. This is again, on the theme of every worker who wants to work should be able to work in a good job, to provide them a living wage, right benefits, so they can go to doctor when when they get sick, the knowledge that they'll come home healthy and safe at the end of the day, the opportunity for growth. 

And then I had the opportunity to sit down with both construction unions and with organizations that serve communities that have left out in the past. And, the Native populations are really important to both. They're important to making sure that when we create good jobs, everybody has access to them from Arizona to Michigan to the rest of the country.

This President is very focused on ensuring that we leave no one behind.

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About The Author
Levi Rickert
Author: Levi RickertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Levi "Calm Before the Storm" Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected].