Obama's 4 Million Jobs: A Guide

All the documents fit to print about Obama's job creation plans

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If you heard the President-elect's announcement over the weekend that his economic recovery plan would create or save an estimated 3 million to 4 million jobs, you may be interested in a better look at the research behind those numbers.

First of all, here is a transcript of Obama's radio address, where he lays out some basics on the jobs plan: 90 percent of jobs will be created in the private sector; nearly a half-million jobs in alternative energy production (solar panels, wind turbines, fuel-efficient cars); lots of healthcare; lots of education; nearly 400,000 jobs from building roads,  bridges, schools and broadband lines.

Obama took his jobs estimate from a commissioned study you'll find here. The study's authors-- Dr. Christina Romer, Council of Economic Advisers chair, and Biden's chief economic adviser, Dr. Jared Bernstein (formerly of Economic Policy Institute)--looked at jobs created/saved over the next two years.

Here's an important excerpt from their report: "Certain industries, such as construction and manufacturing, are likely to experience particularly strong job growth under a recovery package that includes an emphasis on infrastructure, energy, and school repair. But, the more general stimulative measures, such as a middle class tax cut and fiscal relief to the states, as well as the feedback effects of greater employment in key industries, mean that jobs are likely to be created in all sectors of the economy."

In their notes on the kinds of jobs that will be created Romer and Bernstein point to a green jobs study by the Political Economy Research Institute, or PERI. You'll find that here. It offers specifics on the rather vague idea of "green jobs"--breaking out specific occupations for various clean-energy endeavors, including building retrofitting, mass transit, energy-efficient automobiles, wind power, solar power, and cellulosic biomass fuels.

Paul Krugman picks over the Romer and Bernstein study here. Krugman does not believe the plan is adequate in part because it doesn't bring the country back to full employment (4.8 percent) at the end of 2011. He asks: "Why does the plan go away with the job undone?"


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