Mnuchin Swats Down Labor Shortage Talk

Steven Mnuchin, Marga Coulp, John Sununu
The Associated Press

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin does not see signs of a labor shortage in the United States.

In an interview at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference in Los Angeles on Monday, Mnuchin brushed aside talk about a labor shortage from Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.

“I’m hearing from lots of businessmen I talk to that they are having trouble finding workers,” Bartiromo said.

“I’m not hearing that,” Mnuchin said.

When Bartiromo pressed the issue, Mnuchin pushed back again.

Businesses hoping the administration will expand programs for foreign workers have been arguing that they cannot find enough workers. But as Minnesota Fed President Neel Kashkari has argued, there is no objective evidence of a labor shortage.

Bartiromo also asked Mnuchin about inflation and recent signs that wages were rising.

“We want wages to go up. A little bit of inflation is a good thing. Too much isn’t a good thing but I see only a little bit,” Mnuchin said.

Mnuchin added that he sees no signs of too much inflation in the future, saying that it was more likely energy prices would go down instead of up.

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