The Obama administration will face an uphill battle delivering its promises on job growth. Replacing the 7.2 million jobs lost since 2007, will not be an easy task.
This battle becomes more complicated especially when the administration members take counterproductive measures, such as those taken by Lisa Jackson, chief of the Environmental Protective Agency. Jackson outlined a set of new smog reduction rules which will place a burden of $90 billion on private job creators.
Simple Keynesian economics indicates that the industrial and the manufacturing sectors have the ability to create mass job growth. Unfortunately the EPA’s decision will force these sectors to allocate the $90 billion in areas other than job-creating endeavors.
While there is a concerted effort to boost job-creating endeavors, the administration’s frustration with the private sector is becoming noticeable. Christina Romer, head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said "the big variable" in the economic recovery and job growth is the private sector. Furthermore, she added "the government has been doing a lot to -- to hold up demand," she said. "The whole question is: when does the private sector get to see its legs again?"
It is true that the administration’s fiscal stimulus, in excess of $1 trillion did successfully reduce the job losses from 691,000 jobs per month in Q1 2009 to 69,000 jobs in Q4 2009. However if Romer wants the private sector to be more proactive, then she should also take measures to increase access to capital for the private sector. The fact is that despite the recovery in financial markets, the bank credit to the private sector is not flowing readily.
The administration should also study the reasons behind why, in November 2009, there was a significant increase in payroll jobs in Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, WA (+3.8%); Danville, VA (+3.1%); and Sandusky, OH. (+2.6%) The findings from such a study can be used to provide the relevant support to depressed areas where payroll jobs have decreased in Grand Junction, CO (-7.9%); Flint, MI (-7.6%); and Monroe, MI (-7.6%).
If the administration wants to fulfill its commitment of increasing jobs then the administration should make the private sector a partner during the recovery and provide all relevant support. This means introduce measures that will reduce regulatory burden, and increase the access to capital for worthy companies, and most importantly provide local governments relevant education on how to create jobs.