President Donald Trump is set to sign an executive order on Thursday to overhaul how businesses can get a green light to hire and fire workers, a move that could help to boost the economy and boost the wages of workers.
The order directs the White Houses Labor Department to create a new national database to track job openings and job firings across all industries.
It would also expand the federal government’s definition of unemployment, which has been criticized by Democrats as too vague.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
The Trump administration has long struggled with job growth and the labor market, particularly in industries like technology, retail, and hospitality.
But the economy has shown signs of slowing in recent months and has remained depressed overall, with the unemployment rate at 6.9 percent.
The president has said that he wants to boost demand for consumer goods and services by lowering the costs of doing business, which could help spur more hiring.
The jobs database would be the first step in that effort, said Daniel Wiedermann, chief economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
The government’s labor force participation rate fell to 61.9% in the third quarter of 2017 from 63.4% a year earlier, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But there were signs that a pickup in the labor force is happening.
The Labor Department said in a report earlier this month that there were 5.5 million jobs available in July, the highest number since September 2009, and the unemployment is falling.
The number of Americans who said they were working and looking for a job fell by nearly 200,000 in the past three months, according the report.
The new database would allow the government to track employment, but also provide information on those who have lost their jobs because of the recession, the unemployment, and whether they have filed for unemployment benefits, Wiedermans said.
“It would provide more information about the people who lost their positions,” he said.
The database would help the White houses unemployment agency, the National Job Openings and Claims Data System, which is run by the Labor Department.
The data would also help businesses get an understanding of the labor markets and whether hiring was a positive or negative for businesses, said Stephanie Kuykendall, chief data officer for the National Association of Manufacturers.
The hiring database could also help companies identify those who are under the most pressure, as well as those who might be looking for new jobs, Kuylendall said.
For the past several months, the economy’s slow pace of growth has been blamed for the sluggish hiring, which also has hurt wages for many workers.
The U.S. unemployment rate is below 5% for the first time since December 2008.
But it remains well above the historical average of around 5.6%.
The White houses hiring database would also allow the administration to see how much companies are spending to attract employees, which might help businesses to identify those that need to hire.
“We can tell them we don’t have a need to bring in anyone,” Wiedemans said, but companies can’t afford to pay more for workers who are already employed.
The data could also be useful for companies that don’t want to hire from the White house, he said, as they might want to do a better job of recruiting and developing workers.
Wiedermers said the hiring database is a big step for the administration, as it will help the administration gauge whether the economy is moving in the right direction.
The hiring data will also help to keep tabs on the economy.
“The more you have this information in the public domain, the more accurate it becomes,” he added.