President Biden’s Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in an interview that many pre-pandemic jobs, especially in the retail and service sectors, might not come back even as the labor market recovers from the pandemic.

“The real issue, I think, is that a lot of the jobs that folks lost are the kinds of jobs, let’s say, for example, in retail or services industries, that might not be coming back or might not be coming back in the same numbers,” she said in an interview that first aired Thursday on CNBC.

“And so, what that means is, we have to lean into apprenticeships and job training and up-skilling,” she added.

Raimondo’s remarks came after the Labor Department said Thursday that weekly new jobless claims dropped to 364,000, a new pandemic low. But the data also showed that nearly 3.5 million Americans were still on traditional state unemployment benefits.

Her comments also came one day before the highly anticipated June jobs report, which showed that the US added 850,000 jobs last month, topping expectations of 706,000 new jobs.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said some retail jobs might never come back.
Chip Somodevilla/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Retail added 67,000 new jobs in June after seeing a slight drop in May, the data showed.

Another 194,000 new jobs came from restaurants and bars, leading gains in the hard-hit leisure and hospitality sector.

That still left leisure and hospitality 2.2 million jobs short of where it was in February 2020, before the pandemic gutted the economy. And despite the surge in new jobs, the sector’s unemployment rate actually jumped to 10.9 percent.

Throughout the US economy, there were a record 9.3 million job openings as of April. The federal government’s expected to release the number of openings for May next week, providing more insight into the gap between hirings and openings.

Friday’s jobs report also showed that average hourly earnings increased to an all-time high $30.40 per hour, up 0.33 percent from May, and 3.57 percent compared with a year ago.

Wages are typically among corporate America’s highest costs, and as the price of hiring rises, it could make companies reconsider headcounts.

Even as the jobs market kicked the summer off strong, Curt Long, chief economist at the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, noted that the economy is still making up for a lackluster jobs recovery in the spring.

The US posted disappointing jobs figures in both April and May.

A hiring sign is displayed at Firestone Complete Auto Care store
Nearly 3.5 million Americans are still receiving state unemployment benefits.
Nam Y. Huh/AP

Amid the slower-than-expected recovery, some economists have commented that the labor market may have fundamentally changed during the pandemic, reducing the overall need for certain kinds of workers that businesses have learned to do without.

Long said he’s not entirely sold on that argument, adding that the data so far shows there’s “still a hole to fill” in leisure, hospitality and retail.

U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) joined a bill led by his freshman colleague U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) to censure President Joe Biden.

According to a release, the goal is to hold him accountable for his “dereliction of duty” at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Moore revealed his support at a press conference led by Boebert to announce the resolution.


Happy Friday and welcome to Overnight Defense. I’m Rebecca Kheel, and here’s your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. CLICK HERE to subscribe to the newsletter.

THE TOPLINE: Former Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite was in the job for just eight months during the Trump administration, but reportedly spent about $2.4 million on air travel for 22 trips.

USA TODAY reported that Braithwaite, who was sworn in last May and resigned when President BidenJoe BidenAtlanta mayor won’t run for reelection South Carolina governor to end pandemic unemployment benefits in June Airplane pollution set to soar with post-pandemic travel boom MORE took office on January 21, traveled to more foreign and domestic locations than any other senior Pentagon civilian amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

By comparison: Other service secretaries took fewer trips in the same period, with then-Army Secretary Ryan McCarthyRyan McCarthyArmy report confirms Vanessa Guillén was sexually harassed before her death Pence pleaded with military officials to ‘clear the Capitol’ on Jan. 6: AP Alarming threat prompts early exit, underscoring security fears MORE embarking on 17 trips that cost roughly $900,000 and then-Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett traveling to 19 destinations for a total $1.6 million, according to spokespeople from each service.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark MilleyMark MilleyOvernight Defense: US may keep training Afghan forces in other countries | Defense chief tight-lipped on sexual assault decision | ‘Swift’ return to Iran deal possible, US says US adds 12 fighter jets to protect Afghanistan withdrawal McConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by ‘the end of the year’ MORE, meanwhile, took four trips in that time frame, and then-Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperCourt declines to dismiss Amazon challenge against JEDI decision Inspector general chose not to investigate Secret Service in clearing of Lafayette Square: report The paradox of US-India relations MORE and his successor, acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, took a combined 15 trips.

Where did he go?: Among Braithwaite’s trips was a $232,000 excursion in January to the South Pacific’s Wake Island to record a farewell message to the Navy and Marine Corps.

The island is essentially a refueling stop and emergency landing strip thousands of miles from Hawaii where no sailors or Marines are stationed, Navy spokesman Capt. Jereal Dorsey told the outlet.

Braithwaite also flew to Norway, Italy, Greece, Japan and India, as well as several trips to Hawaii and a more than $24,000 flight to attend the Army-Navy football game with his family.

Braithwaite’s response: Braithwaite defended his travels in a statement to USA Today, claiming they were necessary to strengthen the Navy after recent crises, likely alluding to the scandal surrounding the coronavirus outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier.

“I am extremely proud of the record of accomplishments of Our Sailors and Marines during my tenure as Secretary, especially following such a tumultuous chapter in the Navy’s recent history of crisis following crisis as compared to our other