June 14 - As unemployment inches higher and presidential candidates emerge, the issue of how to add jobs takes center focus. Jeanne Yurman reports.
As the jobless rate creeps north of nine percent and presidential politics heats up, the focus on job creation is intensifying. President Obama has outlined plans for growing jobs including training new engineers and adding opportunities through greening up office buildings. More broadly, propping up the jobs market requires more demand from businesses. Many believe that means removing unknowns. Jean Card of the National Federation of Independent Businesses. SOUNDBITE: JEAN CARD, V.P. MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS, NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESSESE (NGLISH) SAYING: "The biggest issue for small businesses and small business owners is the issue of certainty. They don't know what their taxes are going to be, when their taxes are going up. They're very worried about a lot of regulations coming down the pike and of course their healthcare costs are still very high and we anticipate they'll get even higher." Obama's Jobs and Competitiveness Council, which includes leaders from the private sector, is working on ways to cut red tape as well as addressing job training and innovation to accelerate job creation right away without requiring major legislation. The Council will offer a detailed map of how to achieve these initiatives in September. Improvements in the jobs market are also linked to consumer demand, which is limping along in the wake of a dismal housing market says professor Bill Rodgers of Rutgers University. SOUNDBITE: WILLIAM RODGERS, PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC POLICY, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We really have to fix this housing problem. That housing, the challenges there in terms of people's values falling. So many people are under water. They owe more than the house is valued that means they can't or have difficulty moving to opportunity where new jobs are located." But the housing market is now showing signs it could be headed for a double dip. Rodgers points out that social safety nets like unemployment insurance will be key, until the job market finds its footing. Jeanne Yurman, Reuters.