Covering Washington politics. From our vantage point. One day a time.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Are Things Finally Turning Around? Yes. And No.

The letters J-O-B-S hang down the front of the Commerice building in Washington.  Just a block from the White House.  Photo/CD Brown.
Yesterday we learned that more than 70,000 FAA employees were returned to work after almost a two week long furlough after Congress worked together to end the FAA shutdown.

Today, we learn that the July jobs report shows shows that private sector payrolls increased by 154,000 in July. The economy has added 2.4 million private sector jobs over the past 17 months, despite a slowdown in economic growth from substantial headwinds in the first half of the year.
Still, unemployment remains at an all time high, hovering around 9.1%. In some cities, mainly urban, overall unemployment tops 20%. Unemployment in Detroit is currently at a staggering 30%.  
President Obama continues to make jobs creation his top priority. But the affects are slow, and people remain impatient, while the White House remains optimistic.

In an almost heated exchange between White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper, the issue of job creation came to a head after Carney explained to reporters that the administration still believes "job growth will come".
Here's a bit of that exchange.

Carney: "We strongly believe, as I’ve said, that we will continue to grow and we will continue to create jobs and we need to take the measures necessary to do that. We have encountered in this calendar year a number of economic headwinds that could not have been foreseen: the tsunami, earthquake and tsunami in Japan that disrupted global supply chains, the unrest in the Middle East, which had an impact on oil prices, and the situation in Europe. So obviously that has hurt the economy globally and has slowed growth and job creation, but we believe that growth and job creation will continue".

Jake Tapper: But what is the President doing? What is... we know that he went to he went to fundraisers last night. What is he doing today?

CARNEY: Jake, that is --

Jake Tapper: What is he doing --

CARNEY: The President has worked --

Tapper: He stood up there and heckled Congress about all the stuff that needs to be done to help create jobs, and this needs to take place --

CARNEY: That’s right, and Congress --

Tapper: ... and then he flew off to Chicago. What’s he doing today?

CARNEY: Congress has... the President is having meetings with his senior staff. The President has called on Congress to move quickly on things that are -- have bipartisan support and are in Congress’ lap . . .

Tapper: So the same stuff he was doing a couple of months ago, calling on Congress to pass things?

After much back and forth, Press Secretary Carney conceded by saying, "Congress has the power to pass legislation that the President can sign. The actions that it can take could create more jobs right now if it passed the patent reform, if it passed the free trade agreements, and, as you know, there are other issues that the President encourages and will push hard for the Congress to take up when it returns from its recess, including extension of the payroll tax cut, which which has this year put an additional $1,000 in the pockets of every American or typical American family. And he believes we need to do that again next year, because that assists those families in giving them the ability to make ends meet and puts money back into the economy, which in turn sustains businesses and creates jobs".

Carney added that the president will continue to come up with and propose measures that he can take to spur further economic growth and job creation.

A report on today's unemployment figures stated that more than 200,000 jobs, per month, would have to be created to even put a dent in U.S. unemployment.

Regarding the president's 'job creating measures', he is speaking today at the Washington Navy Yard to discuss his plans to ensure that all of America’s veterans have the support they need and deserve when they leave the military, look for a job and enter the civilian workforce.

Representatives from several companies that include Humana, Veterans on Wall Street, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Edison Electric Institute, Microsoft, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, Accenture, Walmart, Lockheed Martin, Honeywell, Code for America, SCORE, Futures, Inc. and Siemens, all of which have committed to either hiring or provide training to unemployed veterans.  The companies would receive a tax break for hiring veterans.

For those continuing to ask what the president is doing to create jobs, they should know that on Thursday, August 11, the President will travel to Holland, Michigan, to tour the Johnson Controls Inc. advanced battery facility. While there he plans on highlighting the key role innovative technologies will play in helping automakers achieve the historic fuel economy standards, establishing U.S. leadership in advanced vehicle manufacturing, spurring economic growth, and creating high-quality domestic jobs in cutting edge industries across America.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsak is also on board in the campaign to create jobs. This week he traveled to Wisconsin where he attended an event to help connect small and medium sized businesses with the resources they need to export their food and agricultural goods overseas as part of the president's White House Rural Council and the National Export Initiative.
"We expect that this year will be the best ever in the history of agriculture exports, helping support over one million good-paying American jobs", said Vilsak.

Still, Wisconsin isn't Washington, D.C., and it isn't Harlem, and it isn't Detroit, or Chicago's South Side where the president and First Lady lived before coming moving into the White House.

The same job creation efforts, councils and initiatives are needed in those areas as well, especially where youth unemployment among African Americans is unheard of.

Committed to jobs creation and growing the economy, President Obama still faces opposition from the GOP.

In a White House blog today, Austan Goolsby, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) calls for bipartisan action.

"Bipartisan action is needed to help the private sector and the economy grow – such as measures to extend both the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance, as well as passing the pending free trade agreements with re-employment assistance for displaced workers, the patent reform bill, and a bipartisan infrastructure bill to help put Americans back to work", writes Goolsby. 
You can read the entire 'Employment in July' article here.

Congressman John Conyers Wants Full Employment for America
"Will somebody please tell me what date America can be America again?". In a press conference put together by members of the 'House Out of Poverty Caucus', Conyers said "America hasn't had full employment since World War II". He wants to "educate" President Obama.

Watch the video below.

Quote of the week:  This impasse was an unnecessary strain on local economies across the country at a time when we can’t allow politics to get in the way of our economic recovery.   - President Obama

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