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Blog Category: American Jobs Act

Commerce Secretary Bryson Announces Grant to Stimulate Job Growth and Business Development

Photo of Harris Corporation

U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson today announced a $2.8 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to the city of Palm Bay, Fla., to make critical roadway infrastructure improvements needed to help a major local employer expand its operations. The project is expected to create 180 jobs and generate $100 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“The Obama administration is committed to helping stimulate job growth and business development,” Bryson said. “This grant will fund vital infrastructure in the community and help bring high-quality jobs and economic growth to Palm Bay.”

Putting Americans back to work is President Obama’s top priority. His American Jobs Act would put more money in the pockets of American families and do so without adding a dime to the deficit. In Florida, 410,000 firms would receive a payroll tax cut under the American Jobs Act, and a typical household in Florida, with a median income of around $46,000, would receive a tax cut of around $1,430.  Release

Driving Innovation and Economic Growth in West Virginia and Virginia

Erskine speaking from the podium

Guest blog post by Matthew S. Erskine, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development

Today, I had the pleasure of joining U.S. Congressman Nick Rahall at Concord University in Athens, West Virginia to formally announce a major EDA investment to create a new EDA University Center in Southern West Virginia. Following the announcement, Congressman Rahall and I engaged in a roundtable discussion with regional businesses leaders to discuss strategies to foster local growth and increase regional competitiveness.

Congressman Rahall was instrumental in helping Marshall University, Concord University, and the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing partner and apply to join the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) University Center program–a competitive initiative that awards grants to universities across the country to help make the resources of these institutions available to the economic development community.

Congressman Rahall said, “Placing faith and funding in American higher education is nothing new. In fact, it has a proven track record that continues to be the envy of the world. Not only did our land grant colleges and universities usher in the greatest agricultural economy the world has ever known, the first G.I. Bill equipped the greatest generation with the tools that crafted the world’s largest economy. Our training grounds, workshops, research and product development revolve around an alliance of business, industry and universities.”

The American Jobs Act: Personal Income and Tax Cuts

The American Jobs Act Cover

Today the Bureau of Economic Analysis released personal income and outlays for September 2011. Personal income increased $17.3 billion, or 0.1 percent, and disposable personal income increased $12.9 billion, or 0.1 percent. That number is helped by the tax cuts in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 that cut social security withholding by 2 percentage points and that resulted in about $1000 per family per year in increased income.

Knowing that increasing personal income is vital to improving our economy, the President has proposed increasing this tax cut in his American Jobs Act. Under his proposal, the payroll tax cut would be extended to firms by cutting in half their payroll tax on the first $5 million in payroll. Next year, instead of paying 6.2 percent on their payroll expenses, firms would pay only 3.1 percent. The President’s plan would provide tax cuts for all firms, with focused relief on the 98% with less than $5 million in payroll.

For example, a construction firm with 50 workers earning an average of $50,000 a year – for a total payroll of $2.5 million – would receive a payroll tax cut of 3.1% of its total payroll, or about $80,000. The firm’s workers would receive an average tax cut of about $1,500 a year from the employee side payroll tax cut in the President’s plan.

Learn more about the President’s proposed American Jobs Act on the White House website.

The American Jobs Act: GDP Growth and Job Creation

The American Jobs Act Banner

Today, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released the advanced estimate for the 3rd quarter 2011 Gross Domestic Product. The report said the U.S. economy grew 2.5% in the third quarter, compare with 1.3% in second quarter of 2011. This is a tremendous step-up from the 0.4% growth in the first quarter and 1.3% in the second quarter of 2011. The good news is that consumers increased their spending, businesses continue to invest, and our exports grew, but continued growth is vital. U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson said this morning, “In spite of headwinds hitting the U.S. economy, today’s GDP report – the ninth straight positive quarter – reflects strong consumer spending and export growth and continued investment by American businesses.”

This growth comes at a time when only two months ago there were fears of a double dip recession and the volatile stock market resembled a wild roller coaster. Consumer spending, factory production and exports all have increased. This type of growth to GDP shows encouraging signs of a growing and improving economy, but faster growth is needed to replace the jobs lost in the recent downturn and to reduce long-term unemployment. That's why the President has offered his American Jobs Act.

The President’s American Jobs Act has been supported by economists across the political spectrum. They have said repeatedly it will create jobs and boost economic growth.  Susan Wachter, a finance professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School suggests, Social Security tax cuts would not only grow the economy, but create 1 million jobs in the next year. Mark Zandi, of Moody Analytics, says the American Jobs Act creatively helps fuel growth for small businesses who have been hurt most by the recession. He projects that the American Jobs Act would grow the economy at an additional 2 percentage points and add 1.9 million jobs all in 2012. 

Focusing on durable goods, preventing teacher layoffs and keeping first responders on the job, and cutting payroll taxes which will support consumer spending are three of the many measures included in the American Jobs Act that will continue to grow the economy and create more jobs. All of this will be fully paid for as part of the President’s long-term deficit reduction plan. See all of the details of the American Jobs Act on the White House blog.

The American Jobs Act: New Project Rebuild and Durable Goods

Inside of a rebuilt home

Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released their Advanced Report on Durable Good for September 2011 and new orders for durable goods dipped 0.8% in September, but excluding transportation equipment (which includes the volatile aircraft manufacturing sector), new orders increased 1.7%. That's good news, but continued growth in our manufacturing sector is vital to improving America's economy and that's why part of President Obama’s American Jobs Act includes a new Project Rebuild.

This new Project Rebuild will put people back to work rehabilitating homes, business, and communities. The President is willing to invest $15 billion into this national effort to spur economic growth. This project will not only put workers back on the job, but it will enable hundreds of thousands of vacant and foreclosed homes and businesses to be rebuilt. So what does all of this mean?

Project Rebuild will create numerous jobs and provide construction workers with many new opportunities. Many citizens across the United States still continue to struggle with finding full-time employment today. This project may be the answer and is certainly one step in the right direction.

Countless buildings across the United States have been empty and rundown for too long. Project Rebuild will allow for them to be reconstructed from scratch. Once these homes and buildings are completely renovated, they will require a large number of washing machines, furniture and refrigerators to fill them. Those are all key components of the durable goods inventory and employ thousands of individuals who manufacture them.

Project Rebuild is just one way President Obama plans to improve the United States economy. See all the details of the American Jobs Act on the White House blog.

EDA: Working with the Private Sector to Create Jobs

NASVF logo

Guest blog post by by John Fernandez, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, Department of Commerce

The Obama administration is collaborating with the private sector in an unprecedented way to promote American innovation, ignite entrepreneurship, and spur small business development to get the economy moving and put people back to work.

And we are seeing results. Private sector payrolls increased by 137,000 in September. And despite a slowdown in economic growth from substantial headwinds experienced throughout the year, the economy has added private sector jobs for 19 straight months, for a total of 2.6 million jobs over that period. While the economy is growing modestly, we understand that it is not fast enough for Americans who are struggling to make ends meet.

That is why it is more important than ever for the federal government to work with industry to create new jobs.

Acting Secretary Blank Delivers Keynote Address at League of Wisconsin Municipalities Conference, Discusses American Jobs Act

Touring: Palermo President & Ceo Fallucca, Blank and Mayor Barrett

Blank also toured Palermo’s Pizza with Mayor Barrett and met with local business leaders as part of White House Business Council outreach effort

Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank traveled to Milwaukee today to deliver the keynote address at the 113th League of Wisconsin Municipalities Annual Conference to discuss the American Jobs Act–how it will spur economic growth, accelerate job creation and benefit Wisconsin.  The League is a nonprofit and nonpartisan association of cities and villages that serves as an information clearinghouse, advocacy organization and legal resource for Wisconsin municipalities; it is comprised of 190 cities and 392 villages.

At the Conference, Blank discussed details of President Obama’s American Jobs Act.  Blank highlighted the different ways the plan would make an immediate impact on job creation: cutting taxes for small businesses, putting more money in the pockets of consumers through an expanded payroll tax cut, and preventing the layoffs of teachers, firefighters and policemen, while putting construction workers to work through much-needed renovations to school, roads, rail and airports renovations. Blank underlined the need for Congress to act quickly on the bipartisan measures in the Jobs Act.

“Outside experts say the American Jobs Act would put nearly two million people to work, while putting more money in the pockets of workers and repairing infrastructure vital to enhancing America’s competitiveness,” Blank said. “It’s time for Democrats and Republicans in Congress to come together and swiftly pass the measures in the Jobs Act, which will put people back to work right away and put more money in the pockets of American families.”

Earlier in the day, Blank joined Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on a tour at Palermo’s Pizza, a rapidly growing regional company that added almost 100 jobs last year and is leading the “Earn to Learn” program with the Mayor’s Office, which gives high school-aged youth a chance to develop marketable skills through direct work experience and training seminars. 

The American Jobs Act: Preventing Teacher Layoffs and Keeping First Responders on the Job

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the American Jobs Act at West Wilkes High School in Millers Creek, North Carolina, Oct. 17, 2011 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

This morning’s USA Today noted that budget cuts claim hundreds of thousands of county and city jobs due to shortfalls in local sales and property taxes. Each of these layoffs hurts the local community. Those laid off don’t spend at local businesses and they don’t purchase local services. That’s the crux of Ezra Klein’s case for rehiring public workers and why the President has put forth his American Jobs Act, to provide communities with some support while the economy gains speed.

Today President Obama is traveling to North Carolina and Virginia talking about his plan to put Americans back to work and keep teachers and emergency responders on the job. He urged Congress to pass his proposal to provide funding to prevent teacher layoffs and keep police officers and firefighters on the job. The American Jobs Act includes $30 billion in teacher stabilization funds which will support state and local efforts to retain, rehire, and hire educators as well as $5 billion for first responders.

In the afternoon, the President will travel to Greensville County High School in Emporia, Virginia. Virginia would receive more than $740 million of the $30 billion included in the American Jobs Act to prevent teacher layoffs, which would support 10,800 jobs across the Commonwealth. Greensville County Public Schools would receive an estimated $1.6 million of this funding for teacher jobs. Greensville County High School has lost six teachers over the last three years due to budget cuts and is at risk of losing additional teachers next year.

See how your state would benefit under the American Jobs Act.

Acting Secretary Blank Visits Newark One-Stop Career Center with Mayor Cory Booker, Highlights American Jobs Act

Acting Secretary Blank, Mayor Booker and Director Nelida Valentin at One-Stop Center, Newark (Photo: office of Mayor Booker

Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank joined Newark Mayor Cory Booker today for a visit to the Newark One-Stop Career Center, a city program that connects residents to career opportunities, provides vocational training and offers continuing education services that aim to meet the needs of both employers and job seekers.  The program is operated by the Newark Mayor’s Office of Employment and Training.

In her remarks, Blank said, "Outside experts say the American Jobs Act would put nearly two million people to work, while putting more money in the pockets of workers and repairing infrastructure vital to enhancing America’s competitiveness,” Blank said. “It’s time for Democrats and Republicans in Congress to come together and swiftly pass the measures in the Jobs Act, which will put people back to work right away and put more money in the pockets of American families.”  Release  |  Remarks

The American Jobs Act: Cutting Payroll Taxes Supports Consumer Spending

Image of tax forms

This morning, the U.S. Census Bureau released its latest Retail Sales figures for September and they went up sharply (1.1percent), with gains in lots of categories.  The gains in July and August were revised upwards, too.  From an economic growth point of view, this is unequivocally good news.  However, history and statistics tell us not to get too excited over a single data point. So, although this is good news, it is clear that economy is not growing as fast as it needs to. That’s why President Obama has proposed cutting payroll taxes in half for 160 million workers next year.

As the Economics and Statistics Administration has already shown, job gains combined with lower taxes equals more spending. That’s why these tax cuts make sense. They help create demand to give the economy a little breathing room while it recovers.

The president’s plan will expand the payroll tax cut passed last December by cutting workers' payroll taxes in half next year. This provision will provide a tax cut of $1,500 to the typical family earning $50,000 a year. As with the payroll tax cut passed in December 2010, the American Jobs Act will specify that Social Security will still receive every dollar it would have gotten otherwise, through a transfer from the General Fund into the Social Security Trust Fund.