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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Elaine Chao Holds Press Conference

Aired November 2, 2001 - 10:51   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

ELAINE CHAO, LABOR SECRETARY: ... July of 2000. We had been able to make up for some of those jobs with increases in the service sector in the months thereafter. But obviously the attacks of September 11 have hurt our service industry; in particular, the airline industry, travel services industry, our restaurants, our hotels. And they have borne the -- most of the damage from the September 11 attacks.

There are some bright spots in our economy. As you may know, the health care industry is still employing people and hiring, as are the education sectors, certain aspects of the financial sector are still hiring, and not surprisingly the securities industry -- obviously, those who offer physical security services, they are hiring as well.

I think what's really important to note is that the president and I and Secretary O'Neill talked about how important it was to have the president's plan -- stimulus plan be passed by the Congress, in fact by the Senate. The House recent action is very much appreciated, and we look forward to working with the Senate to take appropriate, strong steps to help dislocated workers in our economy, and also to help give our economy the added boost and stimulus that it needs.

The president's back-to-work relief program for dislocated workers is a very robust and a very strong program. That is administered within my department. The Department of Labor is a department that is involved with helping people who are unemployed, who are dislocated. That's what we do. We're good at it. And we're very experienced at helping people in need.

So let me just say the president's dislocated workers program includes $3 billion -- 3 billion additional dollars in national emergency grants that will be given out to workers and states that are most impacted by the attacks of September 11. These payments can be used for child care expenses, for transportation expenses, to pay for their health care insurance. Whatever out-of-pocket expenses -- they can be used to pay for mortgages. These national emergency grants will be channeled through the governors through the states, and they are very, very effective. They are responsive; they're very highly targeted. The president...

HEMMER: Elaine Chao, the labor secretary, again discussing -- at the White House, her recent discussions with the president this morning. Clearly the economy will be a major focus throughout the morning and the day here. And to give you a measure of the impact of the attacks of 9/11, Elaine Chao indicating that they more fully reflect the attacks of September 11 -- the job numbers, again, that have jumped 1/2 a percent to 5.4 percent. You don't need us to tell you that the economy has been tough going, and a number of people have lost their jobs as a result of it. The impact to be measured throughout the day and weeks ahead.

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