The January jobs report released by the Department of Labor today gives further evidence of why CKE Restaurants CEO Andrew Puzder is the wrong choice to lead that agency. The report found that while a healthy number of jobs were created, wage growth was very disappointing, with a miniscule 0.1% increase in wages over the last month. The current economic situation, where job creation does not equate with wage growth is bad news for working people. Corporations are creating jobs that don’t sustain families let alone pay the bills.
As you can read on AntiLaborSecretary.org, Puzder would be a bad Labor Secretary for so many reasons—such as his record of taking money out of the pockets of the people who work for him at Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., to line his own. Puzder’s supporters counter that he would be a job creator as Labor Secretary. But what kind of jobs does Puzder create? Unsustainable ones. Puzder makes his money by paying wages so low that taxpayer-funded safety-net programs subsidize his business by approximately $247 million per year. Puzder’s restaurants pay people so poorly they must enroll in Medicaid, State Children’s Health Insurance, the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to make ends meet.
No matter what the condition of the economy, Puzder will make workplaces worse. When the economy is stuck with almost no wage growth, it is exactly the wrong time to appoint someone like Puzder who makes millions of dollars a year by paying people salaries that are too low for them to cover the basics like rent and food without taxpayer subsidies.