Category Archives: job growth

President Obama’s Weekly Address 10/1/11: Democrats and Republicans Should Get Together and Pass the American Jobs Act

WASHINGTON—In this week’s address, President Obama told the American people that it has been nearly three weeks since he sent Congress his jobs bill, and now it is time for Congress to send it back so that it can be signed into law. Economists agree that the American Jobs Act will spur hiring and boost the economy, and it will give workers and small businesses tax cuts, get construction workers back to work rebuilding our roads and bridges, and put more teachers in classrooms and cops on the streets. Too many Americans are struggling and need help now, and so Republicans and Democrats should come together without delay to pass the American Jobs Act.

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Cut And Grow Fail: CBO Schools Tea Party Freshman In Basic Economics

This little ditty was posted Friday on Talking Points Memo. It should be a wake-up call to all those TEA partiers and other right-wingers out there that think that all will be fine in the world if we only cut spending and do nothing to increase revenue.

Unfortunately though, regardless of economic schooling provided by the CBO, there will those that continue to burry their heads in the sand and refuse to believe anything a socialist government agency has to say:

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), a Tea Party-backed freshman who voted against the final debt limit bill, recently asked to hear from the Congressional Budget Office about the impact of government spending on economic growth. It’s an article of faith on the right that vastly shrinking government will unleash the forces of private enterprise, and faced with CBO’s opposing view, Huelskamp wanted to know the answer to two questions:

1). What current federal departments, agencies, programs, or portions thereof do not contribute to economic growth?

2). In the programs that CBO believes do contribute to economic growth, what level of spending cuts would amount to a level you believe would be significant enough to “probably slow the economic recovery”?

But if the newly elected member of the Budget Committee was hoping the non-partisan CBO would buy into his premise, he’ll be sorely disappointed.

In a response letter Thursday, CBO-chief Doug Elmendorf gives Huelskamp a layman’s lesson in Keynesian economics: Under current economic circumstances, new federal spending would help economic growth, and current and future cuts could stymie it, particularly if they hit key government investment.

“When demand for goods and services falls short of the economy’s ability to produce them, as is the case currently, increasing government spending can increase aggregate demand and thereby narrow the gap between the economy’s actual and potential levels of output,” Elmendorf writes.

The precise details matter. The more robust the economy, the lower the impact. But, according to Elmendorf, “when the Federal Reserve’s ability to lower short-run interest rates is constrained because those rates are already near zero, as they are currently, the short-run effects of changes in government spending on output tend to be larger than usual.”

To illustrate the point, Elmendorf notes that deficit reduction measures that cut spending by $100 billion next fiscal year, and hundreds of billions more over the coming decade “would decrease real (inflation-adjusted) gross national product (GNP) in 2012, 2013, and 2014 by amounts ranging from roughly 0.1 percent to 0.6 percent depending on the year and the assumptions used.” In other words, the GOP’s current governing theory is damaging the economy and, by implication, costing jobs. And for those Republicans who want to cut more, ” a reduction in primary deficits that followed the same gradual time path but was twice as large would produce macroeconomic effects that were roughly twice as large.”

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There are important growth-related reasons to reduce deficits if and when the economy improves — it reduces the extent to which government spending “crowds out” private investment, by undertaking functions the private sector can do more efficiently. But we’re not there yet and, according to CBO, won’t be until the end of the decade. Spending cuts like the ones describe above, “[a]t the turn of the decade, from 2019 through 2021…would increase [GNP] by roughly 0.5 percent to 1.4 percent.”

But again the specifics matter, and if the GOP wants to slash across the board, they’ll do damage anyhow.

“Some types of spending, such as funding for improvements to roads and highways, may add to the economy’s potential output in much the same way that private capital investment does,” Elmendorf writes. “Other policies, such as funding for grants to increase access to college education may raise long-term productivity by enhancing people’s skills. The positive longer-term impact of deficit reduction on GNP would be smaller if the policies that reduced deficits included cuts in productive government investments.”

Huelskamp’s original letter is here. Read Elmendorf’s response here.

The letters stem from the below exchange between Huelskamp and Elmendorf at a recent Budget committee hearing. Elmendorf and Huelskamp are arguing two different points. Huelskamp would like to see big cuts to federal safety net programs and other spending. Elmendorf argues that while the macroeconomic consequences of slashing some of those programs might be minimal in the long run, the near-term impact would be significant, given the current downturn.

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Filed under Congressional Budget Office, debt deal, economy, government spending, job growth, Talking Points Memo, tax cuts, tax revenues, Tea Party

>President Obama’s Weekly Address 6/11/11: Partnering with the Private Sector to Spur Hiring

>WASHINGTON – In his weekly address, President Obama spoke to the American people about how the government is partnering with the private sector to make sure workers have the skills and training they need in this economy. This past Wednesday, he announced commitments by the private sector, colleges, and the National Association of Manufacturers that will make it possible for half a million community college students to get a manufacturing credential that has the industry’s stamp of approval. And on Monday, he will travel to North Carolina to meet with his Jobs Council to work on the steps the government can take to spur private sector hiring in the short-term and ensure our workers have the skills and training they need.

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Filed under community colleges, Job creation, job growth, jobs council, Manufacturing, President Obama, private sector job growth, the White House Blog, weekly address

>President Obama’s Weekly Address 1/22/11: "We Can Out-Compete Any Other Nation"

>WASHINGTON – President Obama used his weekly address to highlight the steps his administration is taking to make America more competitive. As a result of the deals made with China this week, U.S. exports to China will increase by more than $45 billion and China will increase its investments in America by several billion dollars. These deals will support some 235,000 American jobs. Also, the President named GE CEO Jeff Immelt to head up the new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, which will help find ways to grow the economy by investing in American businesses.

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>President Obama’s Weekly Address 10/16/10: GOP Rewarding Corporations that Create Jobs Overseas

>The President lays out his agenda to foster investment here at home. He vows to close the tax loopholes for sending jobs and profits overseas that Congressional Republicans have tried to protect.

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>President Obama’s Weekly Address 9/4/10: Honoring the American Worker

>The President talks about his fight to make America work for the middle class and make sure hard work is rewarded — rather than greed and recklessness .

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Filed under job growth, Labor Day, Middle Class, President Obama, Recession, weekly address

Good News For Obama and Dems: January unemployment rate drops to 9.7%

There is some good news today for President Obama and the Democrats, contrary to what some had been predicting the unemployment rate did not rise as expected. The unemployment rate dropped in January from 10% to 9.7% thanks in part job growth coming from manufacturing and retail industries.

541,000 Americans left the ranks of the unemployed and found job last month. you can read about it below:

By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The unemployment rate dropped unexpectedly in January to 9.7 percent from 10 percent while employers shed 20,000 jobs, the government said Friday.

The rate dropped because a survey of households found the number of employed Americans rose by 541,000, the Labor Department said. The job losses are calculated from a separate survey of employers.

The report also included an annual revision to the estimates of total payrolls, which showed there were 930,000 fewer jobs last March than previously estimated. The department also revised down its estimates for April through October of last year, adding another 433,000 job losses.

The November figure was revised higher, however, to show a gain of 64,000 jobs.

All told, the Great Recession has eliminated 8.4 million jobs, the department said. That’s the most of any recession since World War II as a proportion of total payrolls.

Aside from November’s gain, January’s job losses were the smallest since the recession began. Employers cut 779,000 jobs in January 2009.

The report included more good news from the manufacturing sector, which is a key factor in the recovery. Manufacturers gained 11,000 jobs, its largest increase since April 2006.

Retailers added 42,100 jobs, the most since November 2007, before the recession began. Temporary help services gained 52,000 jobs, the fourth month of gains in that category. That could signal future hiring, as employers usually hire temp workers before permanent ones.

The number of part-time workers who want full-time work, but can’t find it fell by almost 1 million. That lowered the “underemployment” rate, which also includes discouraged workers, to 16.5 percent from 17.3 percent.

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Filed under Associated Press, job growth, Labor Department, unemployment rate