Labor Secretary Solis: Budget Cuts Could Cost a Million Jobs

Unemployment line
Unemployment line

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis is concerned that budget cuts of $40 billion to $50 billion under discussion in Congress could cost the country one million jobs.

"It looks like (Congress and President Obama) may be coming closer to working something out. But we know that we have to be very mindful that we don't want to see any dramatic cuts that would hurt the recovery and job creation," she told CNBC Friday.

Solis is encouraged by today's jobs report showing unemployment fell to 8.8% in March while 216,000 nonfarm jobs were added.

She said in the last two months the U.S. has seen incremental improvement in private-sector job growth although "a high number of people are still unemployed, and I'm concerned about it."

The Labor Department is beefing up its job centers, she said, and 70% of the over one million people who've passed through in the past 18 months have found a job within three months.

Government workers are another matter. "I hope (Congress and the Obama administration will) be able to sit down at the table like everyone else to figure out how to make this budget work for people so we don't have to shut down the government," Solis said.