The White House has decided that they alone can’t solve the unemployment problem after all.
From the Politico
Under pressure from a double-digit unemployment rate, President Barack Obama announced Thursday that he will hold a jobs summit at the White House in December.
Obama said a variety of business, labor and non-profit leaders will discuss job creation at the forum. He didn’t announce the date of the summit.
“Over the past 10 months, we’ve taken a number of bold steps to break the back of this recession,” Obama says, repeating the claim that the stimulus created more than 1 million jobs. “As a result, the economy’s now growing again for the first time in more than a year.”
“The economic growth we’ve seen has not yet led to the job growth that we desperately need,” he continues. “We all know there are limits to what government can and should do…But we have an obligation to consider every additional, responsible step we can.”
Obama announced the summit just before taking off for his maiden trip to Asia. He said he would use that trip to talk to foreign leaders about ways to increase trade, which, in turn, could help create American jobs.
The unemployment rate hit 10.2 percent last month, putting added pressure on Obama to find way to jumpstart job growth. He’s also under fire from Republicans who say the $787 billion stimulus package hasn’t created enough jobs to stem the rising tide of unemployment.
“We are open to any demonstrably good idea to supplement the steps we’ve already taken to put America back to work,” Obama said.
The problem for Obama is two-fold. There is very little he or any president can do to force immediate improvements in the economy, even though he’ll get blame if it doesn’t pick up. And now that the stimulus package has been approved, he has very few other tools left in his arsenal to give the economy a jolt.
The White House also has downplayed talk of a second stimulus package but announced last week that the administration is looking at targeted ways to create jobs, through more infrastructure projects and other ideas – but refused to specify them.
Democratic officials tell POLITICO that they have begun to worry that if the country does not enjoy robust job creation by next summer, the party could face devastating losses in November’s midterm congressional elections.
The recession has permanently altered not only our spending habits but also the hiring patterns of employers. The emphasis will be more on increased worker productivity and use of technology to trim costs rather than just hire at will when business is good. There will probably be more temporary or part-time workers in the workforce going forward to give businesses more flexiblity in adjusting to changing business climates. What worked in the past is no longer applicable today.
As long as the Democrats remain wedded to the idea that only taxpayer money and programs will solve the unemployment problem and ignore possible solutions like tax cuts for businesses we will have very slow job recovery and a soft economy.