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Recommendations from the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness

The report presented to President Obama last week by his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness outlined five ways that federal policy could be changed to generate jobs.

Invest aggressively and efficiently in cutting-edge infrastructure and energy

Infrastructure projects that range from high-speed Internet to energy transmission lines create immediate jobs in fields like construction while paving the way for a more competitive economy. The government could accelerate these projects by making permits easier to obtain and expanding public-private financing efforts.

Nurture the high-growth enterprises that create new jobs

Companies in high-growth sectors, such as health care, manufacturing and technology, will generate jobs if they can secure the investments and workforce needed to grow. The government can encourage this through capital gains incentives, Sarbanes-Oxley reforms and an increase in visas to highly skilled workers.

A national investment initiative

The U.S. should aim to attract $1 trillion in foreign direct investments over the next four to five years by partnering with the private sector to entice international investors, and making changes to tax and visa rules.

Simplify regulatory review and streamline project approvals

All federal agencies, from the Food and Drug Administration to the Securities and Exchange Commission, should more fully evaluate the impact of new and old regulation on private industry. Visas for tourists in high-growth economies, such as Brazil and China, should be expedited.

Develop talent to fill today’s jobs and fuel growth

Many jobs go unfilled despite high unemployment because workers’ skills do not match those sought by employers. Short-term programs that offer training in fields like manufacturing and health care should be created while a long-term focus is placed on graduating more college students in engineering and science.

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