Free-Market Groups Urge Senate to Confirm Labor Nominee Puzder

A coalition of 17 free-market groups led by the Competitive Enterprise Institute on Monday urged the Senate to support the nomination of Andrew Puzder for Secretary of Labor.

Under the previous administration, the department buried the private sector in paperwork and expensive new rules. Labor officials imposed $55.7 billion in total finalized regulatory costs and added nearly 70 million in paperwork burden hours.

The letter’s signatories believe that a change from the past administration’s heavy handed government mandates is crucial to encourage job creation and spur economic growth.

The crushing weight of the regulatory burden has created visible hardships on workers and business. Under President Obama, for the first time in 35 years, there were more American business deaths than business births. With small business as the primary driver of job creation—accounting for 60 percent of net new jobs—the decline in entrepreneurship inevitably makes it harder for individuals to find work.

An ostensibly improving unemployment rate only tells part of the story, as many Americans have simply given up looking for work. This is seen in recent labor participation numbers, with about 95 million Americans not in the labor force. More worrisome than the total number is the amount of prime working age males not in the workplace, with 7 million no longer seeking employment and another 2 million who cannot find work. In addition, there are 5.6 million “involuntary part-time” workers, i.e., workers who would like full-time work but cannot find it.

Andrew Puzder is the right man to help relieve employers of the burdens that the Obama Department of Labor implemented and that are stifling investment and job creation.

As incoming House Committee on Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx noted, “Under his strong leadership, CKE Restaurants [of which Puzder is CEO] has thrived and grown to more than 3,700 restaurants worldwide. CKE restaurants and franchises in the United States employ more than 75,000 men and women.”

American workers need a Labor Secretary with real world experience in creating jobs. Mr. Puzder will ensure that the Labor Department implements a deregulatory agenda that encourages business formation and job creation. Those are goals that all Americans can support.