I’m Heidi Shierholz, Chief Economist of the U.S. Department of Labor (as well as bicyclist and beekeeper)—ask me anything!
Hi, I’m Heidi Shierholz, Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor.
I’ve spent all morning advising Secretary Tom Perez for his interviews about today’s jobs report. Now that I’m on my lunch break, I can tackle your questions on economics, labor statistics, and my work here at the Department of Labor. Ask me anything!
A little bit about me:
I’ve been Chief Economist at Labor for a little over two months. As Chief Economist, I’m not in charge of any particular agency, but I provide advice to the secretary as well as others in the department on a broad range of topics. Since I started two months ago, it’s been a whirlwind. There are so many projects the department is working on. Here are a few:
The Secretary and I are particularly focused on the issue of paid family leave, where the U.S. is the only advanced country in the world that does not require any paid maternity leave.
Today’s Jobs Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the unemployment rate at 5.8 percent—the lowest since July 2008—and 214,000 jobs created in October—the ninth consecutive month of job gains over 200,000. We still have a long way to go, but this marks 56 consecutive months of private-sector job creation, with over 10.6 million private-sector jobs created since the end of the recession.
In my free time (when I have free time) I tend to my beehives and commute to work when weather permits on a steel-framed bicycle.
Proof it’s me: https://twitter.com/USDOL/status/530763254390611968 Also here’s a pic of my bees: https://twitter.com/hshierholz/status/530401333220999169
Update: I have to go with the secretary to a few meetings, but will be back to answer some more questions around 3pm ET
Update 2: I'm back and ready to answer a few more questions!
Update 3: Ok, Reddit! That's all the time I have for today. Thanks for all of your questions and I hope you'll have me again. P.S. some of you have some hilariously weird usernames!