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'Cliff' Battle Had Little Impact on Jobs: Solis

Following a report showing a gain of 155,000 new jobs in December, fewer than anticipated, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said Friday that the incessant wrangling over a "fiscal cliff" deal since the November elections had no meaningful effect on hiring.

"I did not see a dramatic impact in this job report. I mean, if you look at the unemployment rate, it stayed about the same," she told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

"I believe that we are still healing. We've seen an economy that's actually added in a 34-month period 5.8 million private sector jobs. And this job report actually shows that there's continued steady growth. ... I think the consumer confidence is slowly coming back."

Solis added that President Barack Obama's has done "everything he can" to encourage business to keep good jobs in the U.S.

"That's why he's actually brought us all together, members of his Cabinet, with industry to work together to make sure the job training reflects what manufacturers want," she said. "That's really what our job is right now. And we're (trying to) make the bureaucratic red tape go away."

Solis also noted the importance of securing unemployment benefits in the fiscal cliff deal.

"What I think about is those 2 million people that would have lost their unemployment insurance. Because ... all that money that goes out in terms of what's being spent by that unemployment check, (and it) helps to generate additional dollars back in the community. Everyone continues to keep their jobs. I can't give you an exact figure, but i'll tell you just by the move that the president made, we've saved millions and millions of jobs."

As for the fiscal battles still looming, she said, "It takes two parties to come together. The president understands that."

Follow @Matt_Twomey on Twitter.

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