Fedblog FedblogFedblog
Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Labor Secretary Likens Department’s Job Centers to Match.com

President Obama listens as Labor Secretary Thomas Perez speaks at the White House Oct. 7, 2015. President Obama listens as Labor Secretary Thomas Perez speaks at the White House Oct. 7, 2015. Susan Walsh/Associated Press

Saturday’s broadcast of the NPR news quiz “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” featured Labor Secretary Thomas Perez describing his department’s 2,500 job centers nationwide as similar to Match.com.

Perez was introduced by host Peter Sagal as the man for whom “technically, his job is all the jobs. What exactly to you do?”

The secretary invoked the online dating service, saying “We help job seekers who want to punch their ticket to the middle class. We match them with employers who want to grow their business.”

Reminded that “this is still a capitalist country” and that the government can’t merely command employers to hire, Perez said, “We’ve worked with a lot of state and local governments to help raise the minimum wage because the Republican leadership in Washington has refused to do so.”

Asked if he was slandered during his confirmation hearing, he called that “a fair statement.”

Asked what skeletons were in his closet, Perez said he once went into a grocery and entered “a six –item line with nine items.” He revealed that as a teenager his first job was holding three paper routes, and that later he picked up golf balls on a driving range.

Sagal observed that “A driving range is probably excellent training for a Senate confirmation hearing . . . because basically, you're dodging around old white men that are trying to kill you.”

“Sounds about right,” Perez responded.

You can listen to the clip here.

Charles S. Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books, and organizational media strategies.

Close [ x ] More from GovExec