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President Obama Attends Meeting of Council on Jobs and Competitiveness

The third quarterly meeting of the Council today in Pittsburgh was focused on a report presented to the President that offered five major initiatives to increase employment while improving competitiveness

President Obama today attended a meeting of his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, where he heard recommendations from the group on how to get the economy moving and create more jobs. The advisory council, which includes leaders from business, labor and academia, was created by the President earlier this year to provide diverse perspectives and ideas on how to create jobs and strengthen our competitiveness. 

The third quarterly meeting of the Council today in Pittsburgh was focused on a report that team presented to the President  that offered five major initiatives to increase employment while improving competitiveness:

  • Measures to accelerate investment into job-rich projects in infrastructure and energy development 
  • A comprehensive drive to ignite entrepreneurship and accelerate the number and scale of young, small businesses and high-growth firms that produce an outsized share of America’s new jobs 
  • A national investment initiative to boost jobs-creating inward investment in the United States, both from global firms headquartered elsewhere and from multinational corporations headquartered here 
  • Ideas to simplify regulatory review and streamline project approvals to accelerate jobs and growth; 
  • Steps to ensure America has the talent in place to fill existing job openings as well as to boost future job creation. 

The President called the report “outstanding” and highlighted some of the Council’s recommendations that have already been acted upon, including the announcement today of 14 high-priority infrastructure projects  which the permitting process has been significantly expedited  through administrative action. He also discussed the American Jobs Act, which offers solutions to the infrastructure issues the Council raised and has provisions in place to accelerate job creation as well as tax breaks that will enable small companies grow more quickly: 

The good news is -- and it’s reflected in your Jobs Council report -- there’s just a bunch of stuff that we can do right now that not only helps the economy immediately but puts us on a more stable path over the long term.  And most of it should not be controversial.  The good news is, is that our problems are imminently solvable and does not necessarily fall into the classic ideological divisions between left and right, conservative, liberal, but are just smart things to do to respond to a historic challenge that we face as a country. 

The bad news is that there is a big gap between sensible solutions and what either the political process seems to be willing to act on and also, I think, people’s perceptions, which are clouded by news reports that would make it seem as if there is nothing we can do and that we’re automatically on a downward decline.   

And so I think what the Job Council has been invaluable in providing is a road map for the American people -- not comprehensive, this is just a piece of the puzzle, but pointing to examples of where, if we do some smart things now, we can have a lot better outcomes in the future.  And that can help to build back a sense of confidence -- or a sense of confidence about our ability to meet these challenges. 

The full report is available for download at