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Obama Plan Focuses on Private Sector, Local Jobs

By Ed O'Keefe

It appears that President-elect Barack Obama's economic stimulus package will create and save more local and state government jobs than federal positions, according to his weekly radio/YouTube address (see above). Some observers had anticipated a larger expansion of the federal workforce after details of the jobs plan started trickling out last weekend.

"Our plan will likely save or create three to four million jobs," Obama says today. "Ninety percent of these jobs will be created in the private sector – the remaining 10 percent are mainly public sector jobs we save, like the teachers, police officers, firefighters and others who provide vital services in our communities."

Several federal places of work could be up for major renovations however, since Obama says that "We’ll create nearly half a million jobs by investing in clean energy – by committing to double the production of alternative energy in the next three years, and by modernizing more than 75 percent of federal buildings and improving the energy efficiency of two million American homes."

These are the first of many details of the job creation plan from the president-elect and this does not rule out a further expansion of the federal workforce. Stay tuned.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 10, 2009; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Administration, Workplace Issues  
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$775 Billion Dollars divided by 3.7 Million new jobs is an average of $209,000 per job created. The average income per household is $50,000.....where does the rest of the money go?

Before we jump into this program I think we need some thoughtful discussion and some answers.

Posted by: kpod | January 10, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Hey kpod, you make a good point, but have you taken into account what it actually cost the employer, including the cost of benefits, insurance, equipment, buildings, etc provided by an employer, the average $50k is actually much more than that when you take into account what it cost the employer.

Posted by: pmasundire | January 10, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

If nothing is created, it is a giveaway inflating the non-gold backed dollars. Building the new electric grid, infrastructure improvements, alternative energy systems, etc. are assets to back the dollar. Kpod that is where the rest of the money went.

Posted by: jameschirico | January 10, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

kpod, keep in mind that a significant portion of the $775 billion represents tax cuts for 95% of the working families. So, perhaps some if it goes to you.

Posted by: b707320c | January 10, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't want a tax cut. And I don't want the government to pay for things that business should build. I can make sense of the need to build infrastructure but I do not think the government should be in the business of deciding which technologies we should want......the market should determine the need. Most importantly, I do not think we should accept our children to buy us out of this, hard work and sacrifice by all hands is required at this point. The $775B is going right to the balooning past $10 trillion dollars. Can we debate how the $775B should be spent or will this just be ram rodded down our throats like the bank bailout fiasco?

Posted by: kpod | January 10, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I agree that the bank bailout has turned into yet another Republican swindle and stripmining of the Treasury on behalf of their best friends and contributors. But this is no reason to further victimize the many tens of millions of Americans who have already been victimized by decades of corporate and governmental incompetence, malfeasance, and bad luck. You should keep in mind also that a lot of the money will be going to pay for things like concrete, steel, wire, etc., not just salaries and wages.

Please keep in mind, also, that to a varying extent, depending on the technology, government DOES form "the market," in some cases by buying the things that only governments buy (such as bridges, dams (generally) and government buildings), in some cases by supporting the basic research that "the market" cannot plausibly be expected to pay for itself on economic grounds, in some cases by creating a "critical mass" for production that enables economies of scale to kick in, making it feasible for other parts of the market to acquire a product.

Best wishes,

Posted by: edallan | January 10, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Frankly I am amazed by people who think that the investment in real productive jobs to put Americans back to work is wrong or bad. We have seen the loss of 2.6 million jobs this year alone. I wonder if that figure was to include the amount of jobs shipped overseas plus the other lay-offs over the last eight years, how bad it would be. You see this did not just start in August 08` it is a culmination of bad policies, bad management and outright greed over commonsense that has been allowed to flourish unabated. The truth is if you discount the financial sector and the mergers our Gross Domestic Product has shrunk drastically, yet prices for goods has been increasing it reminds me of what my grandmother always taught me "you cannot get milk from a cow or eggs from a hen unless you feed it. Looks like our business leaders forgot that basic economic lesson.

Posted by: rickeyhbusiness | January 12, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I applaud the administration's efforts for trying to preserve or create millions of jobs for the private sector. But what about the Federal Government and preservation of jobs being lost, and people being displaced by the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program? There are thousands of employees that will not have a job or having to retire early because they don't or can't relocate to different areas of the United States. I work for the Department of Defense, my particular agency is being relocated to Ft Knox, KY, I can't along with thousands of others cannot uproot and move to Ft Knox. What will become of those jobs and the people in them that are going away from this area?
Why are they still building and preparing for move when we are in a recession? We need that money to be channeled else where. Please look into this if you can.

Thank you
D John

Posted by: dorethajohn | January 12, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Some say contractors are licking their chops over the stim. Some conts will get some money, sure. And their loaded rates are 2-3 times salaries. That said, government, if it had the accounting to measure it, would have an even larger load for fringe benefits, retirement, and overhead. Govt is more expensive. Let's hope that the stim money is not wasted on idiotic studies and designs and other white collarish make-work. It is blood money for those of us who still have incomes and pay some stiff taxes. Out of the starting gate, let's give Barack Obama a good long chance to get it right. Chances are, he will. But this whole episode--economic recovery--will require sacrifices that we have never seen in the modern era. Certainly not from Bush and the other piggish people to whom he has catered. And let's hold back more bailout for the terribly managed car companies and the wizards on Wall Street who got us into this mess, along with millions of homeowners and other borrowers who foolishly bit off more than they could ever pay back.

Posted by: axolotl | January 12, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

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