The White House is seeking an increase of $1.3 billion for the Labor Department, bringing discretionary funding to $13. 2 billion.
The president is repeating his call from last year to boost the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour from $7.25, where it has been since 2009. Last year he raised the minimum wage for federal contractors by executive order.
The budget provides $500 million in new money for services to help unemployed workers find new jobs or give them training. The initiative would reach one-third of unemployed people who are likely to run out of benefits before finding another job, the budget says.
The administration also wants to enhance worker safety protections for miners, provide new resources to increase safety and security at chemical facilities and improve safety responses when accidents occur. The budget also would make it easier for the Occupational and Mine Safety and Health Administrations (OSHA and MSHA) to enforce laws that protect whistleblowers.
The budget would double the number of workers who receive job training through the agency’s workforce development programs, with $16 billion over 10 years. The training would focus on high-demand industries, including health care, energy, information technology, cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing and transportation and logistics.
The budget would also allow the government to strengthen penalties against employers who jeopardize worker health, safety, age and retirement security, boosting fines the Labor Department collects.