Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Promoting Job Growth

While the economic recovery began- though slowly - in 2009, the employment rate has lagged behind. This makes it incredible difficult for families who are unable to secure work - and it makes it critical for policy to be focused on initiatives that lead to increased opportunities for employment.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was created to increase the demand for goods and services - above what it would normally be - in order to preserve jobs during the recession and to create jobs during the recovery. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office recently released a report regarding the number of jobs that were created by ARRA - between October and December of 2011. The report states that ARRA created and protected up to 2 million jobs as well as boosted the number of hours that people worked. A related brief by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, addressing ARRA's success in creating jobs, states that:

"Among ARRA's most effective provisions for saving and creating jobs, according to CBO's estimates, are direct purchases of goods and services by the federal government, transfer payments to states (such as extra Medicaid funding), and transfer payments to individuals (such as increased food stamp benefits and additional weeks of unemployment benefits). CBO's estimates indicate that tax cuts are less effective job producers, and tax cuts for higher-income people have very low bang for the buck."

In times of high unemployment considering strategies that will successfully produce jobs is an important aspect of promoting broader economic growth in your state and meeting the needs of the families in your constituency. For additional strategies to promote employment and to support working families visit the PolicyforResults fact sheet series - Policymakers' Corner.

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