Entries in Jeff Immelt (2)


Obama's New Jobs Creation Plan Is Met with Mixed Feelings

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(DURHAM, N.C.) -- For Michael Webster, who's been unemployed for 14 months, President Obama's speech Monday in North Carolina was not surprising.

"Jobs are not being created fast enough," Obama said at an energy-efficient lighting plant in Durham. "I wake up every single morning wondering how jobs can be created and go to bed thinking the same thing."

In North Carolina, a state critical to his re-election and with a 9.7 unemployment rate, the president laid out a series of job initiatives with GE chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt, the head of his jobs council.

"There is no one silver bullet on jobs creation," Immelt said Monday.

The council's suggestions include training workers for jobs that are tough to fill, such as advanced manufacturing, and streamlining the permit process in hopes of kick-starting infrastructure and construction projects. The council also advises easing visa restrictions to boost jobs in travel and tourism and facilitating lending to small businesses.

Many of the nation's top economists weighed in on the president's plans with mixed feelings.

Peter Ricchiuti, a Tulane University business professor, said they were "all good ideas," but he wondered, "Will they get through?"

Martin Regalia of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the proposals would "likely have little impact in the near term."

"Most of this is right out of the stimulus bill, which didn't do much except maintain the jobs of state and local employees," said Bill Dunkelberg, chief economist at the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

"[What] all these proposals miss is that U.S companies are in better financial health today than in decades," said Bernie Baumhol, chief economist at the Economic Outlook Group. "Record profits, record amount of cash. All financial resources [can] increase hiring if they want to....There's just no urgency to do so at this time."

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' April 2011 Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey, there were 2.9 million job openings in April. Retail organizations posted 37,000 job openings this year. Amazon added 17,000.

Accommodations and food services posted 50,000. Companies like McDonald's are hiring staff and managers too. Manufacturing had the most jobs -- 53,000 -- with Ford needing to hire 7,000 workers in the next two years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


GE CEO Immelt to ABC News: 'People Get to Think What They Think'

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- News that General Electric made $14 billion in profits in 2010 but paid zero in federal taxes has led to liberal leaders like former Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisc., and MoveOn to call for President Obama to show the door to GE CEO Jeff Immelt, the chairman of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
Immelt was even roasted on late-night comedy programs like the Daily Show.

The criticism has also been intense with labor leaders arguing that under Immelt, GE has shed jobs and expanded outsourcing.

ABC News' Jake Tapper spoke with Immelt in Washington, D.C., Thursday and asked him about the criticism.

TAPPER:  Since you became CEO, GE has shed jobs and a lot of jobs have gone overseas…

IMMELT: Jake it’s really not true. In other words, we’ve sold half the company since I’ve been CEO.  If you take that out, our job growth is up and if you look at our core infrastructure and technology it’s up 30% and if you look at what we’ve  done post-crisis, we’ve added 6,500 manufacturing jobs and so I just think you have to get in the second layer of the analysis.

TAPPER: What do you make of the criticism of the people who say you should step down, you’re not a good role model for the business community?

IMMELT: Look, I am completely committed to doing a good job, working with the president and I’m completely focused in that regard on building jobs and competitiveness in the U.S. and I will do my best to do a good job with it. People get to think what they think.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio