Obama calls for new ideas for job creation in U.S.

08:17, December 04, 2009      

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U.S. President Barack Obama Thursday called on business leaders at a jobs forum he hosted at the White House to generate more jobs to tackle the rising unemployment.

"I heard a great deal of challenges this afternoon about -- or a great deal this afternoon about the challenges that we're all facing, for businesses large and small, when it comes to trying to create jobs," said the president at the close of the forum.

He said his administration has got "some good, hard-headed feedback from people," referring to 130 executives, economists, small business owners and non-profit officials who attended the forum.

"While I believe that government has a critical role in creating the conditions for economic growth, ultimately true economic recovery is only going to come from the private sector," said Obama.

"We don't have enough public dollars to fill the hole of private dollars that was created as a consequences of the crisis," he added.

U.S. unemployment rate rose to 10.2 percent in October, the highest in more than 26 years. Since the recession began in December 2007, the U.S. economy has lost a net total of 7.3 million jobs.

Moreover, the budget deficit for the 2009 fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30, set an all-time record in dollar terms of 1.42 trillion dollars, tripled last year's record.

Obama, who is under growing political pressure to tackle both the soaring deficit and unemployment, said he is "open to every demonstrably good idea."

"There's no question that it's difficult out there right now," said the president. "Digging ourselves out of the hole we have dug into is not going to be easy."

Ideas for spurring job creation abound at the forum. They range from giving business tax credits for hiring workers to pumping millions into state and local economies. One of the top priorities is extending unemployment benefits.

Tax incentives for job creation are "worthy of further consideration," said Obama, adding that his administration is also set on making a big push in the areas of green jobs.

"We can create new jobs, spur enormous amounts of business opportunities for the clean tech sector, but we're also laying the groundwork for energy independence," said the president.

He said he would announce some new ideas of his own next week.

"We cannot hang back and hope for the best," said Obama. "I am not interested in taking a wait and see approach, when it comes to creating jobs, I want to take any reasonable step to accelerate job creation."

Obama's ideas are likely to include a home-retrofitting proposal modeled on the popular "cash for clunkers" program that has particularly captured Obama's imagination, U.S. media quoted Obama's aides as saying.

Critics see the high-profile forum as nothing more than a public-relations move.

House Republican leaders hosted their own jobs forum on Thursday. "The American People are asking, 'where are the jobs?' but all they getting from Washington Democrats is more spending, more debt, and more policies that hurt small businesses," said Representative John A. Boehner.

Source: Xinhua
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