Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis said Friday she wanted to allow for unemployment benefits to be used for people to start their own businesses in an interview with Fox Business:
HILDA SOLIS: Let’s look at the past five months. On the average in those past five months, we have seen about 170,000 jobs created. And yes, economists say you have to have at least 120,000 on an average. It is not as dire as some would say. I would say that even though in the 27 months we created for 4.3 million private sector jobs–that is not devastating. That is actually something that I think is somewhat positive. Sure, we have to do more. We are focused like a laser beam to make sure that we have our training, job-training dollars working and partnerships with community colleges and employers to make sure that we find the right employees to get into those jobs that are available. We have seen a reduction from those individuals; at the beginning of this recession it was about seven applicants for one job. Now it is down to about three-to-one. We’ve got to do better and the way we do it is by incentivizing businesses. You’re absolutely right about making investments in small businesses, tax credits and brakes and allowing for UI benefits to be used so that people can start their own businesses.