Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bill Clinton on increasing employment

Cover story in this week's Newsweek.  Interestingly, most of this (better training programs, cut red tape, subsidizing energy-savings projects, more loans for small businesses) overlaps with President Obama's Jobs and Competitiveness Council covered in a blog post last week.  Clinton adds these ideas: paint rooftops white, more state-based incentive plans, cut corporate tax rates, enforce trade laws.  He also mentions in passing that we should raise tax rates on high income brackets to pay for this. 

WP columnist Robert Samuelson chimes in on the difficulties many companies are having filling certain types of positions.  Even with 9% unemployment, qualified electricians, CAD/CAM operators and the like are hard to find.  Companies have cut back on basic training programs, shifting their attention to firm-specific skills.  But now we have a catch-22 situation in the labor market, Samuelson argues, where firms will not hire workers without experience and workers cannot get hired to get that needed experience.  

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