June 11 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama said the private sector must take the lead in creating jobs as the as the economy recovers, with the government assisting by making sure workers have the necessary skills.
“Government is not, and should not be, the main engine of job-creation in this country,” Obama said in his weekly address on the radio and Internet. “That’s the role of the private sector.”
Obama said the government can work as a partner with businesses to enhance training and education for the jobs that are available. With the nation’s unemployment rate at 9.1 percent in May, up 0.1 percent from the previous month, the administration is focusing on measures that can encourage hiring.
On June 8 Obama visited a community college outside of Washington to highlight a program where students are being prepared for manufacturing jobs in a $2 billion government program to train about 500,000 workers over the next five years.
On June 13 Obama will meet in North Carolina with executives who are on his Jobs and Competitiveness Council to talk about proposals to encourage private-sector hiring without additional government spending.
In today’s address, Obama said a good education is “a prerequisite for success” in the workplace, so he is pushing states to improve schools.
Industries of Future
The president also said that the government needs to continue to spend on clean energy technology to help create the industries of the future.
“These are steps we know will make a difference in people’s lives,” he said. “Not just 20 years from now, or 10 years from now, but now, and in the months to come.”
In the Republican address, Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois said the president is continues to pursue a “failed agenda” that hasn’t helped the economy recover from the worst recession in more than 80 years.
None of the promises made by the administration about the stimulus passed in 2009 have panned out, he said.
Kinzinger said the government needs to get “out of the way and let our economy grow and get back to producing jobs,” and that the first steps to enacting new policies can come when Congress this year debates raising the nation’s debt ceiling.
He said Republicans won’t support increasing the $14.3 trillion debt limit without spending cuts or budget reforms.
“It is high time that we cut up the government’s credit cards and draw a hard line to stop the government from overspending, which is hampering our economy’s ability to grow and thrive,” he said.
--With assistance from Roger Runningen in Washington. Editors: Joe Sobczyk, Robin Meszoly
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