Obama team boosts jobs estimate to 3.7 million

00_jobless_chartSUMMARY

President-elect Barack Obama used his weekly radio/video address to release a report by his economic advisers. It says that without the $775 billion stimulus package the president-elect is proposing, the economy will likely lose another 3 million to 4 million jobs by the end of 2010 (2.6 million jobs disappeared in just the past year).

The stimulus plan, Obama’s advisers project, would add 3.7 million jobs to payrolls that otherwise wouldn’t have been there — leaving the jobless rate in December 2010 about where it is now — 7.2% — rather than the nearly 9% they project without the plan. It would also leave “nonfarm” payroll employment about where it is now — 137.3 million jobs. (Figures on the latest unemployment rate and payroll numbers are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

Download: American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan

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Remarks of President-Elect Barack Obama
Radio Address
Saturday, January 10, 2008
Washington, DC

We start this new year in the midst of an economic crisis unlike any we have seen in our lifetime.  We learned yesterday that in the past month alone, we lost more than half a million jobs – a total of nearly 2.6 million in the year 2008.  Another 3.4 million Americans who want and need full-time work have had to settle for part-time jobs.  And families across America are feeling the pinch as they watch debts mount, bills pile up and savings disappear.

These numbers are a stark reminder that we simply cannot continue on our current path.  If nothing is done, economists from across the spectrum tell us that this recession could linger for years and the unemployment rate could reach double digits – and they warn that our nation could lose the competitive edge that has served as a foundation for our strength and standing in the world.

It’s not too late to change course – but only if we take immediate and dramatic action.  Our first job is to put people back to work and get our economy working again.  This is an extraordinary challenge, which is why I’ve taken the extraordinary step of working – even before I take office – with my economic team and leaders of both parties on an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan that will call for major investments to revive our economy, create jobs, and lay a solid foundation for future growth.

I asked my nominee for Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, Dr. Christina Romer, and the Vice President-Elect’s Chief Economic Adviser, Dr. Jared Bernstein, to conduct a rigorous analysis of this plan and come up with projections of how many jobs it will create – and what kind of jobs they will be.  Today, I am releasing a report of their findings so that the American people can see exactly what this plan will mean for their families, their communities, and our economy.

The report confirms that our plan will likely save or create three to four million jobs.  90 percent of these jobs will be created in the private sector – the remaining 10 percent are mainly public sector jobs we save, like the teachers, police officers, firefighters and others who provide vital services in our communities.

The jobs we create will be in businesses large and small across a wide range of industries.  And they’ll be the kind of jobs that don’t just put people to work in the short term, but position our economy to lead the world in the long-term.

We’ll create nearly half a million jobs by investing in clean energy – by committing to double the production of alternative energy in the next three years, and by modernizing more than 75% of federal buildings and improving the energy efficiency of two million American homes. These made-in-America jobs building solar panels and wind turbines, developing fuel-efficient cars and new energy technologies pay well, and they can’t be outsourced.

We’ll create hundreds of thousands of jobs by improving health care – transitioning to a nationwide system of computerized medical records that won’t just save money, but save lives by preventing deadly medical errors.  And we’ll create hundreds of thousands more jobs in education, equipping tens of thousands of schools with 21st century classrooms, labs and computers to help our kids compete with any worker in the world for any job.

We’ll put nearly 400,000 people to work by repairing our infrastructure – our crumbling roads, bridges and schools.  And we’ll build the new infrastructure we need to succeed in this new century, investing in science and technology, and laying down miles of new broadband lines so that businesses across our nation can compete with their counterparts around the world.

Finally, we won’t just create jobs, we’ll also provide help for those who’ve lost theirs, and for states and families who’ve been hardest-hit by this recession.  That means bi-partisan extensions of unemployment insurance and health care coverage; a $1,000 tax cut for 95 percent of working families; and assistance to help states avoid harmful budget cuts in essential services like police, fire, education and health care.

Now, given the magnitude of the challenges we face, none of this will come easy.  Recovery won’t happen overnight, and it’s likely that things will get worse before they get better.

But we have come through moments like this before.  We are the nation that has faced down war, depression and fear itself – each time, refusing to yield; each time, refusing to accept a lesser fate.  That is the spirit that has always sustained us – that belief that our destiny is not written for us, but by us; that our success is not a matter of chance, but of our own courage and determination.  Our resources may be finite, but our will is infinite.  And I am confident that if we come together and summon that great American spirit once again, we will meet the challenges of our time and write the next great chapter in our American story.

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1 comment
  1. JJ said:

    The job-creation numbers are impressive, but I hope the other details of the plan don’t get ignored because of they don’t make great headlines. I think we need the stimulus plan, and it needs to be very large, but Congress needs to make sure that it continues providing benefits in the long term, not just a shot in the arm for the short term.

    The infrastructure spending will help keep the economy growing in the long term, but it would also be helpful if Congress could find a way to encourage businesses to invest in infrastructure as well. Possibly they could do this by making sure there are fewer unnecessary regulations that dissuade businesses from making those investments. There seem to be many businesses that have money to invest, but not as many that are actively investing in any forward-thinking enterprise. Hopefully Congress can find ways to get that money flowing.

    The tax cuts on businesses would certainly be helpful, especially on small businesses or businesses in sectors where there is potential for significant job creation. We need the businesses like that to be able to resume their traditional role as the engine of our economy. The government can certainly assist the process getting started, but businesses will actually provide the growth.

    I think the aid to the state governments is also needed, because the programs that the state governments support are needed for sustained growth. For instance, the state governments support schools and public workforce training programs. It is important to make sure both of those programs survive to make sure we are able to provide workers for whichever sectors of the economy are providing the jobs.

    I recently saw that the Friends of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is working with Congress to make sure that they take these things into account when they are designing the stimulus package. They have a petition that I encourage everyone to sign to make sure Congress knows that we want the economy fixed – but we want it fixed for the long-term – http://www.friendsoftheuschamber.com/takeaction/index.cfm?ID=76

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