FOX BUSINESS: Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia talks to FOX Business’ Stuart Varney about the 1.88 million people who filed for unemployment claims in the last week and the road to economic recovery.
https://twitter.com/11thHour/status/1268387445479034881 FULL RUSHED TRANSCRIPT: STUART VARNEY, FOX BUSINESS HOST: And we bring Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia. Mr. Secretary, good to see you again sir, but look, isn’t this going to be a tough road to recover? Won’t this massive number of jobs lost slow us down this recovery? EUGENE SCALIA, LABOR SECRETARY: Well you’re certainly right, Stuart, it’s been a large number of job losses. The number of people filing for claims has declined steadily over the last few weeks, and the continuing claims dropped significantly, by about 3.3 million over the last couple of weeks. So, those are some good signs. I’ve been of the view, Stuart, many of these jobs will come back quickly because they were still there. It was that because of public health measures we were keeping businesses from opening, workers returning, but they’re going back now. So, we’ve seen some bad numbers, a lot of hardship, but we’re now reopening and I think importantly we’re reopening safely, too. VARNEY: I would suggest that the one group of workers who will be — it will be most difficult to bring back in real numbers, that’s office workers, especially those in the big office buildings around major cities. Would you agree with that? SCALIA: Well, that’s a group of workers — of lot of them, Stuart, are able to work remotely. You’re certainly seeing that for a lot of the financial institutions and others. And so, they’re able to address that problem that way, you’re right, there are issues with elevators that make things a little more complicated. You were talking earlier about the entertainment industry, those that make a living out of bringing large numbers of people together, they’re going to be slower. The airlines will lag a bit because of that, but I think we’ll see millions of people going back in the weeks ahead. That’s already underway. And again the health indications remain good which I think is extremely encouraging for the job numbers, too. VARNEY: Tomorrow, we get the official unemployment rate for the month of May. I’m not asking you to front run this. I don’t know whether you’ve seen that number or not, but it’s going to be a huge number. Everybody acknowledges that. But my question is do you think we’ll have a 10 percent unemployment rate say by the end of the year or by the election in November? SCALIA: I think that we can get under 10 percent by the end of the year, Stuart. I really do believe that as hard as this has been for American workers and their families, it was always meant to be temporary. We had an extraordinarily strong economy. By the way, I think policies the president set of lower taxes to incentivize growth, of avoiding the necessarily regulatory burdens is going to be even more important. So, I think we can move these numbers quickly. Even though there’s going to be some jobs that definitely take longer to come back. And tomorrow’s report – tomorrow’s report will be a hard report, but remember it will reflect where we were in the middle of May. Things have changed a lot since then.