Getting Concrete about Addressing the Jobs Deficit

The President presented a comprehensive, credible jobs plan last night that should refocus policymaker’s attention to and action on the country’s job deficit.  It is after all the lack of jobs that has led to significant economic hardship for Americans and North Carolinians and held down the economic expansion necessary to create opportunity and navigate out of the Great Recession.

Estimates suggest that the American Jobs Act could create 4.6 million jobs, closing nearly half of the country’s job deficit of 11 million.

How will it do that?  The plan includes many proven policies—to name just some of them, extension of unemployment insurance benefits, establishing a worksharing program, investing in repairing and modernizing the country’s schools and roads, a subsidized jobs program for low-income youth and adults, and ensuring teachers remain in the classroom and first responders in communities.

Some will require significant monitoring to ensure they are achieving their goal.  The President highlighted Opportunity NC, based on the Georgia Works model, that aims to connect workers receiving unemployment insurance with a training opportunity.  While more data is needed to examine the effectiveness of this measure in North Carolina, it is critical that these training opportunities provide true skill development for workers without jobs and the potential for placement in good, quality employment.  Similarly, efforts to encourage hiring in small businesses through tax credits should be structured to ensure that jobs created are good, quality, permanent jobs and that dollars invested deliver a significant return.

The American Jobs Act provides an important outline for policymakers to immediately use to get to work.  The evidence in North Carolina, and the country, are clear: greater collective effort and investment will be needed to put workers back to work and get the economy on track.

 

3 Comments

  1. Ira Silver

    September 9, 2011 at 10:14 am

    President Obama sounded good last night. But let’s not get too excited about a set of proposals that are likely to get watered down, if not smashed entirely, in the Congressional snake pit.
    Indeed, looking to the government for solutions to our jobs crisis seems increasingly futile. Investment in employment opportunity can more realistically happen – and indeed IS happening – in the charitable sector. Whether the investment comes from foundations or individuals, putting private money into programs aimed to develop talent for good jobs is an idea around which Americans share consensus.
    To learn more about ways we can invest in solutions to American inequality, please visit my blog, Opportunity for All: http://www.oppforall.com.

  2. Nonanonymous

    September 9, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Total bull, without even looking at the proposal, $450B?

    Policy changes allowed jobs to migrate offshore, policy change is all that is need to bring them back.

  3. david esmay

    September 10, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Tax cuts have not created a single job in this country, and while the payroll tax cuts help those employed, I don’t see anything addressing the long term unemployed and under employed. Neither side seems willing to establish a long term plan to revitalize the manufacturing industry, and create real jobs. They seem content to let the minimum wage service industry drive the economy. The repubs are just as focused on the debt and deficit, and cuts, and defeating the President, as they were before, and will fight to drive economic growth down to achieve this.