Year in Motion: 2016 Video Highlights


Some of our top videos from the past year highlight the need for affordable child care, putting an end to silicosis, the Labor Department's mission, facts about the minimum wage, job training that works, saving for retirement and how Americans spend their time.

Affordable child care

When parents who want to pursue a career can’t afford to because of high child care costs, that’s a problem.

Transcript

 

Stopping silicosis

Labor Secretary Frances Perkins declared that "silicosis can be prevented" 80 years ago. In 2016, we did something about it.

Transcript

 

Country of Good Neighbors

Secretary Tom Perez shares how the values of his hometown — the City of Good Neighbors — are at the heart of the Labor Department’s work for all Americans.

Transcript

 

Time to #RaiseTheWage

What you should know about the federal minimum wage.

Transcript

 

Antwain’s story

Antwain knows what YouthBuild is all about. Education, valuable job skills, a career. His inspirational story:

Transcript

 

Save your savings

Regardless of age, everyone willing to work for it deserves a secure retirement.

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Where the time goes

How does your typical day compare to the average full-time worker?

Transcript

Check out hot blog posts from 2016 and some stand-out moments from our work at the Labor Department. And to keep up with us in the New Year, be sure follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

 

Tiffany Koebel works in the department’s Office of Public Affairs.

 

Video transcripts

Affordable child care

Jennifer is a working mom with another on the way. But quality child care is hard to find and hard to afford. Infant care is especially pricey: over $15,000 a year in some states. That’s more than in-state tuition at most four-year public universities. Many parents who want to pursue a career can’t afford to. That’s a problem. Policies that support working families would enable millions more women to contribute to our workforce. If U.S. women’s labor force participation matched other developed countries’, the potential gains to GDP could reach $600 billion per year. Quality, affordable child care is good for families, is good for the economy, is good for America. What does affordable child care mean to you? DOL.GOV/ChildCare #CareAboutCare

Stopping silicosis

[Frances Perkins speaking] “And I feel it to be my duty to make this report available to the working people of the United States and to their employers. This report shows how silicosis occurs, where it occurs, and what the disease is. The report emphasizes that these control measures, if conscientiously adopted and applied, that silicosis can be prevented.” [Tom Ward speaking] “When I first seen Frances Perkins' video, I was just outraged. That, in 1938, sixty experts spent just a year to figure it out and to really make it simple. Turn the water on. Turn the vacuum on. My dad was a sandblaster for several years in his late twenties. Shortly after that, he became short of breath. We didn't know what it was. He had a couple collapsed lungs, and then finally the diagnosis came: it was silicosis. It took about five years to kill him. And we got to watch. The toughest thing, was watching him come home, when he couldn't work no more, and literally fell on the ground, and cried. He said, ‘I can't do it no more.’ So the impact is huge. Anyone that's ever lost anyone knows exactly what I'm talking about. Whether it's cancer or a sudden fall, but watching a loved one suffer... is a real human toll. They didn't know then, and most people don't know now about the hazards of working around silica. Dry grinding, and cutting, and polishing material, that produces silica dust. The modern workforce can work safer. This standard can save lives. It will save lives, and frankly, it's going to save a lot of money. If over 50,000 people are dying, every year, from diseases contracted at work, some of them silica, imagine the cost. It's time to get the word out, and let them know about this.”

A Country of Good Neighbors

[Labor Secretary Tom Perez speaking] “Pankow field is where I learned to play baseball growing up. Buffalo is America in short. It’s a city that has taken a few punches over the years, but it’s a resilient city. I met a fellow Buffalonian named Alan White. Alan and I are basically the same age. The difference between Alan and I is that Alan went to work in a job that could kill him. It took, literally decades to make sure that the public policy caught up with the science. It’s one of the many reasons why I love working for Barack Obama, because Barack Obama understands that the fundamental moral covenant that we have with this nation is to make sure that workers who are working hard are treated fairly and are working in a safe workplace. The president inherited the worse economic mess of our lifetime. 2.4 million jobs lost in the 3 months before he took over. We have created more jobs in this recovery than all of the industrialized nations of the world combined and we’re continuing to make progress - in manufacturing, in IT, in health care, in a wide array of occupations. The promise of America is that everyone who works a full-time job doesn’t have to live in poverty, can feed their family, can live with dignity. When we build bridges, instead of walls, we build a better America. When we embrace inclusion and opportunity as opposed to isolation and fear, we build a better America. When people are struggling, you don’t kick ‘em to the curb, you help them. You don’t give them a hand out, you give them a hand up. And a hand up allows Buffalo to be the remarkable city that it is, and America to be the remarkable country that it is. The Department of Labor gives voice to people who all too frequently don’t have a voice. We fight for people. We fight to make sure that workers have a voice in the workplace, we fight to make sure that when you worked those hours you got paid, we fight to make sure that when you work to save for retirement you get to enjoy that retirement. Our work is as important as ever. That is the journey to build a more perfect, and more accessible and more successful Department of Labor.”

Time to #RaiseTheWage

Did you know? All but two presidents have increased the minimum wage since it was established in 1938. The last increase was seven years ago (July 2009). In 1968, a full-time minimum wage worker could support a family of three. Today, that family would be well below the poverty level at $14,500 a year. President Obama first called for an increase in 2013. Congress has yet to act. So cities and states have stepped up and passed laws to raise their minimum wage. Of the workers that would benefit from a minimum wage increase, about 9 out of 10 are adults (age 20 or over), and more than half are women. It’s time to #RaiseTheWage for all hardworking Americans. www.dol.gov/RaiseTheWage.

Antwain’s story

[Antwain speaking] “I knew nothing about solar at the beginning. After that first day, I was like oh man I think I found something I like. I mean I like to be outside, that's a plus, I like to work with my hands, always was great working with my hands. I just had my first son and just sitting at home just looking at him like, man, how can I tell him to go to school and “daddy day,” and graduate from school. I'll be a hypocrite! About hey, you have to go school, you have to graduate finish school. I can't just sit around and depend on other people. Let me make sure I always make the next day better than the last day. I'll be finished with my GED at the end of October. I’ve passed my social study section and I passed my science section and passed all that just off of the help from YouthBuild. One thing I can say about Sasha from YouthBuild, they helped me grow in areas that I didn't know I needed to grow in. They went over and beyond to make sure that everybody can achieve the goals that they set at the beginning of the year. That's the best thing I like about them. Therefore, change is great, don't be scared to actually make a change in life, don’t be scared to try something new. This renewable energy, it came through and gave me a great opportunity and I just never let go and I don't think I've ever let go of this opportunity. I have a great career, I don't see this as a job − this is actually this is a career. When I sit back and think about everything that YouthBuild has done, it’s just like they really did a lot for you.”

Save your savings

[Narrator] “Attention Young America. You are going to get wrinkles. You're going to need eight hours of sleep, not three. You're going to wish new songs were more like classic EDM music. You're going to get gray hair, some faster than others. You've got rent to pay, cell phone bills, data plans--. But at some point, you're going to start thinking about your savings. The new reality is that you probably won't climb one corporate ladder from graduation to retirement. That's great! Chase passion and opportunity -- but keep an eye on your savings. Retirement is probably an afterthought. You're focused on the next gig. But that's when you could use some sound advice from a financial advisor. But here's the kicker: JUST BECAUSE YOU PAY AN ADVISOR, DOESN'T MEAN THE ADVICE YOU GET IS WHAT'S BEST FOR YOU. It's not right. It's a FLAW in our system, with HUGE costs. Hidden fees can compound over decades of hard work, costing you thousands of dollars. Right now some financial advisors can steer you toward retirement investments that they are paid more to sell. Not the ones that are in YOUR BEST INTERESTS. That's not working for you; that's working you over. Doctors prescribe what's best for you. Lawyers represent your best interest, not theirs. These professionals swear oaths to serve Y-O-U. So should the people we trust with hard-earned retirement savings. The U.S. Department of Labor has issued commonsense reforms to help consumers and hold financial advisors accountable to work in your best interest. When you pay for retirement advice, it shouldn't be "ok" advice or "good enough" advice – you should get the best advice for you. That's service. It's your money, your future, your security. Now go save that money!”

Where the time goes

How does your day compare to that of the average American? (Footnote: Estimates are for days worked and include travel time.) Work: 8 hours, 46 minutes. Sleeping: 7 hours, 53 minutes. Leisure and sports: 3 hours, 6 minutes. Eating and drinking: 1 hour, 5 minutes. Housework: 58 minutes. Shopping: 28 minutes. Caring for family: 25 minutes. Learn more: BLS.GOV/TUS.

 


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