Entries in Job Creation (11)


Payroll Tax Holiday Fails to Stimulate Job Creation

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Losing the payroll tax holiday could cost the average family $1,000 in new taxes, according to President Obama, but Republicans are beginning to question the holiday’s stimulative effect on the economy.

Sen. Jon Kyl, R.-Ariz., says that Republicans are hesitant about extending the payroll tax holiday, a provision that many economists say will spur hiring. It’s also a provision that will pull money away from the Social Security trust fund if Congress doesn’t find a way to pay for it.

“The payroll tax holiday has not stimulated job creation,” said Kyl while on Fox News Sunday. “We don’t think that’s a good way to do it.”

Congress has until the end of the year to extend the payroll tax holiday. If it fails to act businesses will likely increase the amount of money that is taken out of your paycheck to pay for Social Security taxes.

Democrats want to pay for the payroll tax holiday by raising taxes on the top percentage of income earners, a position that doesn’t sit well with Republicans and a position that President Obama will likely exploit in the upcoming election.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press that the payroll tax holiday will be the first item on the agenda when the Senate comes back into session this week.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Starbucks CEO: 'We Can't Wait for Washington'

Mario Tama/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who recently made a call to action for his "fellow concerned Americans" to boycott campaign contributions, said it is up to U.S. business leaders to help get the country out of its "crisis of confidence."

"We can't wait for Washington," he said.  "Business leaders are going to have to galvanize their own constituencies and do everything they can to demonstrate confidence in the economy, and I think that can be contagious."

In an interview with ABC's Nightline, Schultz talked about his loathing of Congress and the administration in, what he called, the "tragic conclusion" of the debt ceiling deal.

"I don't recognize what's coming out of Washington," he said.  "I'm just asking in the most respectful way.  You took an oath of office, all of you, to represent America, not ideology, not one constituency over another.  We have serious problems right now."

He added it was U.S. business leaders' "responsibility" to help increase consumer confidence, especially through job creation.  For his own company, Schultz said, he plans to remodel 1,700 Starbucks stores in the next year, and try to open up 200 new stores.

But the lack of a long-term agreement on the debt ceiling deal -- Congress and the administration still need to agree on $1.5 trillion more in budget savings by the end of the year -- is a direct link, he says, to the faltering economy.

"Most business people today are not going to invest in the uncertainty that exists in America," he said.  "That uncertainly is directly linked to the debt ceiling."

A registered Democrat, Schultz wouldn't openly criticize President Obama or any specific member of Congress, but said there was a disconnect between Washington and the needs of the U.S. people.

"My biggest concern is that America is drifting towards mediocrity and that people don't recognize -- and by people I'm meaning Washington -- don't recognize the sense of urgency and the fact that I don't think this is a crisis anymore.  I think it's an emergency," he said.

The Starbucks CEO said his campaign started with a call-to-action memo to his 200,000 employees and 50 other CEOs, which, he said, sparked encouragement for him to keep going.

He then officially launched his campaign in August with full-page ads and his website,, calling upon people to boycott any further political contributions until the national deficit is reduced, as first reported by The New York Times.  Schultz held a teleconference Tuesday night, where he said 130,000 people participated in a discussion about issues with the economy.

Schultz said 140 CEOS have now joined his pledge.  They include CEOs from the NASDAQ, AOL, J.C. Penney and the New York Stock Exchange.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama: Congress Can Approve Trade Deals 'Right Now,' but Deals Still on His Desk

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama has touted three pending U.S. trade deals as measures that could immediately spur job growth, if only Congress would approve them to become law.  The only problem: the White House has not yet formally sent the deals to Congress for a vote.

"With 1.3 million jobs lost under the 'stimulus' binge and the unemployment rate over 9 percent, there's no excuse for the White House to delay a moment longer," said Don Seymour, communications director for House Speaker John Boehner, in a blog post Friday. "If President Obama wants Congress to 'go ahead and get those trade deals done,' he should submit them for ratification as soon as possible."

Officials announced in June that, after months of negotiation between the administration and congressional Republicans, they had agreed to the overall terms of the trade deals and an accompanying piece of legislation, known as the Trade Adjustment Assistance program -- essentially clearing the way for the legislation to become law.

“As a result of extensive negotiations, we now have an agreement on the underlying terms for a meaningful renewal of a strengthened TAA,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said on Jun. 29.  “Now it is time to move forward with the TAA and with the Korea, Colombia and Panama trade agreements, which will support tens of thousands of jobs.”

The development was praised by members of both parties and the business community, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has lobbied heavily for passage of the trade deals.  

But the next step -- actual votes on the agreements -- remains mired in partisan finger-pointing over when and how the legislation should be brought to the floor in both chambers.

“There's a dispute because the president wants to pass the treaties in tandem with trade adjustment assistance for any workers who might be -- American workers who might be disadvantaged by the treaties,” said senior Obama strategist David Axelrod on ABC's This Week.  “We feel like we reached an agreement or made progress in the Senate.  We need to get this through Congress come the fall.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters on Aug. 3 that he would only allow movement on the trade agreements once the TAA has passed.

And the White House says it won’t send the deals to the Hill until an agreement is reached on how votes will proceed, which would preferably include guarantees the legislation won’t be subjected to change or amendment, or filibuster in the Senate.

So, while the president says, “right now, Congress can advance a set of trade agreements,” and that “Congress could do right now,” that’s only partly true, so long as the partisan divide over the votes runs as long as Pennsylvania Ave.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Secret to Job Growth? Experts Say They've Got It

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. may have a job shortage but there's no shortage of ideas, now, for how to create more jobs.

With 25 million people looking for work and the unemployment rate stuck at 9.1 percent, the economy can't recover until the job engine is restarted.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this week that there were only 3.1 million job openings in June.  The number is far below the number at the beginning of the recession (4.4 million in December 2007) and has been flat since February 2011.

President Obama devoted a weekend address to the need to reduce unemployment.  Jobs, too, will remain his topic on Thursday, when he travels to Holland, Michigan to inspect a Johnson Controls plant making advanced batteries -- an example, says the administration, of how jobs can be created by promoting green technology.

Though the president has said that deficit reduction must remain part of the country's economic strategy, he stressed in his weekend remarks that, "Our job right now has to be doing whatever we can to help folks find work; to help create the climate where a business can put up that job listing.  We've got to rebuild this economy and the sense of security that middle class has felt slipping away for years."

Ideas the Obama administration has put forward include a new tax credit that would give companies a financial incentive to hire veterans returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; passage of free trade agreements now pending, which the president says would create jobs by boosting U.S. exports to Asia and South America; and putting unemployed construction workers back to work rebuilding America's roads, bridges, airports and other crumbling infrastructure.

His critics, however, maintain Obama's "new" ideas are anything but, and are faulting him for not implementing them yet. And the president himself took heat when he joked about his infrastructure plan's failure to create jobs. During a gathering of his Coucil on Jobs and Competitiveness in June, Obama joked, "Shovel ready jobs...was not so shovel ready."

Other job-creation schemes are circulating, some put forth by think-tanks and advocacy groups, others by unions, and still more from politicians of both parties.  Seemingly small steps, say advocates, could yield significant job increases.

Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, argues that merely by expanding the federal research and development tax credit, some 162,000 new jobs could be created in the near term.

Robert Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America's Future, advocates putting young people to work by expanding Americorps and by creating new job-corps modeled on those of the 1930s -- "the modern equivalent of the WPA [Works Progress Administration]."  They would build or re-build parks, maintain wilderness areas and create public art.

Some of the most ambitious and wide-ranging ideas can be found in A Vision for Economic Renewal: An American Jobs Agenda.  The plan is the handiwork of Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, Reps. John Garamendi, D-Calif., and Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa, and a task force co-chaired by Leo Hindery, Jr., chairman of the Economic Growth/Smart Globalization Initiative at the New America Foundation.  Hindery insists the 15-point plan, "a far-reaching prescription," would create "something north of 20 million jobs."

On that list, Hindery's top recommendation is the creation of a national Infrastructure Bank (an idea favored, too, by many other job-creation experts).  The White House likes the idea of the bank.  So do Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., who have authored legislation that would call it into being.

Its loans would reduce the risk faced by private investors wanting to put money into ambitious infrastructure projects, thereby ensuring that private money would be available.

Hindery tells ABC News he thinks such a bank affords the single best opportunity now to create lots of private sector jobs.

"Each $1 billion such a bank might lend could create 40,000 jobs," he says.  With "fully $3 trillion worth" of U.S. infrastructure right now needing attention, many billions might be raised and loaned, many hundreds of thousands of jobs created.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


New Call Center Jobs to Boost Already-Thriving Business 

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If you're out of work and enjoy talking on the phone, the booming call center industry is hiring, thanks to increased broadband access and companies bringing their customer service departments back from overseas.

Cecille Williams, general manager of Messages Plus in New York City, which answers calls to about 3,000 clients, including hospitals and doctors, said that the growing trend of employers hiring U.S. call center operations was helping the business to grow and prosper.

"In the last year or two, we have hired quite a few extra people," said Williams, whose staff has 100 employees, 14 of which were added in the last year. "We've doubled the size of clients we serve and we've doubled the size of employees that we've hired."

Across the country, the industry is booming: There are 500 new jobs for the travel website Expedia at a call center in Missouri and 4,000 new jobs projected by Alorica, an Atlanta-based company that runs 30 call centers nationwide.

It's definitely an added bonus to the bit of good news from a Labor Department report out Friday that said payrolls expanded by 17,000 jobs in July and unemployment fell to 9.1 percent.

"When you bring broadband to a community, when you connect homes to broadband, you're connecting community and people to commerce and you're providing opportunities for job creation," FCC chairman Julius Genachowski told ABC News Thursday. "For disabled people, for veterans, for single moms, for others who need to work, who want to work but for one reason or another can't commute, this is a real opportunity for job creation."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Texas Job Creation: Crunching the Numbers

Comstock/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) -- While the Labor Department's monthly jobs report on Friday is expected to show only slight improvement in jobs added, Texas Gov. Rick Perry may still have fodder to say his state is a "winner" in the shifting economy.

But the factors contributing to the Lone Star State's job creation may have little to do with Perry, and its downside may not be fully realized, critics argue.

Texas accounts for 29 percent of jobs created nationwide from June 2009 -- when the 1.5 year recession ended -- through May, according to Mine Yucel, senior economist and vice president with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

The oil and gas industries have boosted the state's economy as the price of oil has risen, Yucel said.  The average price of regular gas was $2.35 in 2009, $2.78 in 2010 and is $3.60 so far this year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Also, the state has been able to diversify into other sectors, namely technology and financial services.

Political watchers wonder whether Gov. Perry will enter the 2012 presidential race, boasting of his jobs record, now that the Texas legislative session has closed.  But the Texas legislature, required by law to balance a budget created every two years, made significant cuts in education and other public services that may blemish the governor's record.

Lucy Nashed, spokeswoman for the governor's office, said the legislators faced a tough economic environment and made difficult decisions.

Perry has been able to keep taxes low, maintain a "predictable" regulatory climate, a "fair" legal climate and a skilled workforce, according to Nashed.  The governor also has attracted businesses with initiatives such as the Texas Enterprise Fund, which started in 2003.  Nashed said that fund has created more than 58,000 jobs to date by offering incentives to companies.

Nashed said the governor has focused on creating an economic environment in which people can "create capital and find jobs."

But Daniel Hamermesh, an economics professor at the University of Texas at Austin, said public services in the state are "terrible" as a result of its lower taxes.  He added that it is "nonsense" to say low taxes have contributed to job creation.

While the state's property taxes may be higher than in other states, Hamermesh said the lack of an income tax and lower rates for other taxes contribute to poor public services.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama on Jobs Report: 'Have to Keep the Momentum Going'

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(LANDOVER, Md.) -- President Obama says the new jobs numbers out Friday -- 230,000 new private jobs added to the economy -- represent good news, but not the end game.

“Although we got good news today, we have to keep the momentum going,” he told an audience at a UPS facility just outside of Washington D.C., where he was touting clean vehicle technology. “That makes 1.8 million private sector jobs created in last 13 months,” he said.

The new jobs number also led to a steep drop in the unemployment rate -- a full percentage point down in just four months.

“The last time that happened was during the recovery during 1984 where we saw such a significant drop in the unemployment rate,” Obama said.

But the president maintained that still isn’t enough.

“I know there’s a lot going on in the world right now so the news has been captured by the images of the Middle East and what’s happening,  the tragedy to our friends in Japan. And I’m focused on those issues but you should know that  keeping the economy going and making sure jobs are available is the first thing I thing about when I wake up in the morning, it’s the last thing I think about when I go to bed each night,”  he said.

“That’s what we’re focused on, that’s what we’re fighting for,” he said to applause.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama on Oil Prices: 'Ride Out Libya Situation,' 'It Will Stabilize'

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama said Thursday that he believes that markets can “ride out” the situation in Libya and that ultimately oil prices will be stabilized.

“We actually think we'll be able to ride out the Libya situation and it will stabilize,” the president said in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building Thursday.

Mr. Obama’s short comments came during a meeting with his newly appointed “President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness,” when speaking about specific concerns in certain sectors.

Thursday marked the first meeting of the president’s new council meant to advise the president on new ways to create jobs. The president said that he is not interested in photo ops or more meetings, because he has had a “surplus” of those on job creation already.

“I expect this to be a working group in which we are coming up with some concrete deliverables,” Obama said, “I don't think that we have to be trying to hit home runs every time. I think if we hit some singles and -- and doubles, if we find some very specific things that this group can help us on and we can work on together, then we can build on that success, and in the aggregate over time this will have really made a difference at a critical juncture in our economy.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


National Mayoral Convention Focuses On Job Creation

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Mayors from around the nation have converged on the nation's capital in hopes of figuring out how to create more jobs in their hometowns. Over the course of several days, the mayors will be meeting with legislators both Republican and Democrat, cabinet members, and President Barack Obama.

Elizabeth Kautz, mayor of Burnsville, Minnesota and president of the United States Conference of Mayors, said, “The jobs picture for cities and suburbs remains extremely challenging."

The United States Conference of Mayors released an economic report showing that nearly one-third of the nation's 363 metro areas will still have an unemployment rate greater than 10 percent at the end of the year.

“This data is solid proof that Congress needs to be laser-beam focused on jobs creation,” said Kautz. “We are in the middle of a ‘jobs emergency’ that demands decisive and swift action," Kautz said.

The report also predicts that 42 percent of metropolitan areas will not gain back their pre-recession job levels until after 2014.

“As we try to slog our way out of this jobs recession, there are still families all over the nation that are suffering tremendously from prolonged unemployment. Without job growth in metropolitan areas, there can be no sustained national recovery. Our cities and our metro economies are centers of our national economy. We ignore them at our own peril," Kautz said.

The group of mayors are calling for community development block grants to be given to cities across the country so that money can be spent on job creation projects. All of the details of their plan are outlined in their 2011 Metro Agenda.

“The nation’s mayors are calling on all levels of government, as well as the private sector, to work closer together to build a bold vision for what cities and metropolitan areas will look like in the coming decades. And job creation is the key to that vision," Kautz said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


On Eve of Government Jobs Report, Gallup Reports Unemployment Up at Year's End

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PRINCETON, N.J.) – After a November improvement in employment, unemployment closed the year at 9.6 percent, up from 8.8 percent at the end of November, according to Gallup. Underemployment rose to 19 percent from 17.2 percent over the same period.

Those who were employed part-time and sought full-time work made up 9.4 percent of the workforce at the end of the year, also an increase from 8.4 percent at the close of November.

Despite an expected increase in hiring and firing during the holiday season, Gallup reported that their job creation index has remained unchanged over the past three months.

The data comes a day before the government is expected to make a report on unemployment and the creation of over 140,000 new jobs in December.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio