Labor secretary seeing ‘potential' supply chain issue caused by China

Labor secretary on April jobs report: ‘Opportunity’ to focus on specific states

U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh reacts to the economy adding 428,000 jobs in April, beating estimates by economists.

Responding to a question on the White House’s initiative to bring down inflation, U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh argued government spending won’t be the next contributor to rising consumer prices on "Varney & Co." Friday.

"Now we're seeing a lot of factories in China shut down," Walsh told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney. "So we're going to see another potential issue here with supply chain issues that's not caused, quite honestly, by America and American workers and the American economy. But it's a global issue."

While Walsh maintained that the federal government should still invest in specific sectors which help the American worker, he further warned global supply chain issues outside the U.S. can worsen inflation at home.

"You talked about supply chain issues, you talked about shipping company issues," Walsh mentioned, "those happen to be not in the United States of America. They're in China where the issues are. So again, what happens in one part of the world affects all of us."

SUPPLY CHAIN ISSUES WORSENING, REPORT SAYS, PUSHING INFLATION HIGHER

Walsh’s warning of further supply chain disruptions comes just as he was witnessing West Coast port backlogs "ease."

U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh warned worsening supply chain issues aren’t caused by American workers or the economy on “Varney & Co.” Friday, May 6, 2022. (Getty Images)

"We had 27 ships out in the harbor three weeks ago, wherein the previous month we had 67 ships," the secretary noted.

When Varney asked whether wages can keep up with inflation, Walsh pointed out opportunity in the leisure and hospitality sector and an average 5.5% increase in American payroll wages year-over-year.

"That's a pretty good increase for a worker in America as far as getting more wages," Walsh said. "But we know on the other side of the coin, we have some work to do to bring down those inflationary pressures."

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US economy adds 428,000 jobs in April

FOX Business’ Edward Lawrence with more on the April jobs report.

The labor secretary also touched on April’s jobs report beating economists’ expectations.

"What I asked today in the department is to look and do a granular research of those numbers to see… If that participation rate, that's a global number across the country. What parts of the country can we do better at? What parts of the country can we get more people engaged in the workforce at?" Walsh explained. "And I think that there's opportunities for us to really look at this thing a little differently."

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