Summary: At his weekly press conference, Speaker Ryan highlighted some of the brightest spots in today's economy, and discussed how the next phase of the House’s plan to bolster the workforce will help fill the record number of job openings. He also gave an update on the other important work underway in the House, and reminded everyone to celebrate their moms this Mother’s Day weekend.
“3.9 percent. You guys know what I’m talking about?
“3.9 percent. That is the unemployment rate in America today, 3.9 percent. I never thought I’d be standing up here saying that number.
“This is the lowest unemployment rate since the year 2000.
“Jobless claims have been hovering around a 48-year low.
“The unemployment rates for minorities are at or near record lows.
“Small business optimism is at a record high. Business investment is up 24 percent over last year. Wages are higher.
“There is good news everywhere you look.
“These are not just statistics. These are American workers and American families getting ahead.
“After trudging along for so long, economic confidence in America has finally returned. The economy and our agenda are improving people’s lives. That’s why we are here.
“When we passed tax reform, our Democratic friends literally said that this was going to be Armageddon.
“Six months later, that prediction looks really silly.
“And worse, now the Democrats are calling openly for tax increases.
“We’re not going to move backwards. We’re not going to take away all the progress that has been made for families, for workers, for our economy.”
“Right now, job openings are at all-time high. There are as many jobs open today as there are people looking for jobs.
“Which is why the next phase of our agenda—part of our Better Way agenda—is so important: We need to connect people to jobs and we need to connect people to the skills they need to get good jobs.
“It’s about workforce development. And soon we will be voting on a farm bill that includes important reforms that are proven to get people off of the sidelines and into full-time employment.
“These ideas have been tested, they’ve been demonstrated, they’ve been proven.
“The concept is really simple: If you are capable of work, you should work to get benefits. If you can’t find work, we’ll guarantee a spot in a job training program. That is how you get people off the sidelines, out of poverty, into the workforce, into the careers, on the escalator of life. We call it SNAP E&T—Education and Training.
“This is about giving Americans the right incentives and the right skills to get into the labor force.
“It’s what the economy needs. It’s what we need. And it’s what can help people move into lives of self-determination. We need their talents, and we want to make sure that people can flourish and succeed.
“This is the perfect time to do this in this kind of an economy.”
More Work Being Done to Improve People’s Lives
“Of course, there’s a whole lot more that’s happening here in the House.
“Just this week, we sent the president yet another bill to repeal an Obama-era regulation. We are moving forward on financial services reform to improve access to loans and capital for small businesses.
“At the Energy and Commerce Committee, they are preparing a package of bills to take on the opioid crisis in America. And that is just to name a few of the things that are happening right now.
“This just shows that while this economy is cooking—and it is—there is still a whole lot more we can do to strengthen it and to ultimately improve people’s lives.
“Finally—most important point. Sunday is Mother’s Day. Do not forget to call your moms, maybe make a meal, send some flowers, or both. Alright? Don’t forget that.”