President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday requiring federal agencies to provide a minimum level of job security and to make it easier for Americans to apply for jobs, in a bid to stem a job-killing trend that is killing more than 20,000 Americans each year.
The executive order also directs the Department of Labor to establish a national strategy to promote a robust and equitable economy, including by improving the availability of job training and job placement services.
Trump’s order does not apply to states, but the White House said in a statement that states could seek waivers to make their policies more effective.
The White House also called for expanding access to government-backed training for job seekers, expanding the federal H-2B program to cover foreign workers, expanding overtime for workers on non-federal contracts and expanding an incentive program to encourage employers to offer workers higher wages.
“These changes will help ensure that the American people have a secure, well-paying job,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in the statement.
But jobless rates rose to a 17-year high in October, and they remain high among younger workers, who are more likely to be unemployed than older workers.
More than 4.3 million Americans have been unemployed for more than a year, and the total number of unemployed Americans is expected to exceed 13 million by the end of 2019.
Trump has called for a “new era” of job creation, including through infrastructure investments and a boost in trade and manufacturing.
Trump said Friday that “we have to get back to creating jobs and making them great again.”
The order does require agencies to offer “comprehensive job training” for job-seekers, but it’s unclear whether that means training in computer skills or skills such as communication and leadership skills.
Trump, who has touted his economic prowess, has also proposed creating a so-called “jobs council” to help recruit workers for the U.S. economy.
He has proposed spending billions on a wall along the U.-S-Mexico border and a new border wall along with the construction of a second one in Texas, which Trump says will be built by 2020.
But critics have warned that building the wall along a U.