Commentary | Jobs and Unemployment

Administration’s focus on job creation a good one

Earlier this year the Obama administration created the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, tasked with advising the president on job creation policies and designing a long-term strategy for growth. Today, at their second public meeting, the council presented the president with a “progress report” that includes a number of steps to help spur hiring in areas such as construction, manufacturing, and health care, particularly in the short term. The council is right to recognize that we need to focus on additional job creation, including job creation through investments in infrastructure.

The Economic Policy Institute has long focused on how job creation policies—including investing in green technology, construction, and manufacturing—can provide not only millions of badly needed jobs, but also good jobs. In February, along with the BlueGreen Alliance, EPI released Rebuilding Green, a report noting that green investments in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created or saved nearly 1 million jobs. Prior work from EPI on green investments has found that a commitment of $100 billion annually in new public investments over the next decade would create more than a million good jobs. Additionally, EPI has highlighted how job creation in areas such as construction and manufacturing is not only good for economic growth, but also for repairing our nation’s schools and infrastructure. EPI’s American Jobs Plan suggests, among other ideas, investing in transportation and schools in order to fill vital infrastructure needs and to provide good jobs for hundreds of thousands of workers.

Following are some EPI reports that have examined in detail the issues that the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness has been tasked to address:

Rebuilding Green: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Green Economy

Transportation Investments and the Labor Market

Green Investments and the Labor Market

The Job Impact of Transportation Authorization

American Jobs Plan: A Five-Point Plan to Stem the U.S. Jobs Crisis

See related work on Jobs | Wages, Incomes, and Wealth

See more work by Rebecca Thiess