Press Release ● Jobs and Economy
For Immediate Release: 
November 13, 2009
Contact Info: 
Katie Grant
Stephanie Lundberg
(202) 225 - 3130

“We all know that there are limits to what government can and should do, even during such difficult [economic] times.  But we have an obligation to consider every additional, responsible step that we can [take] to encourage and accelerate job creation in this country. And that’s why, in December, we’ll be holding a forum at the White House on jobs and economic growth.  We’ll gather CEOs and small business owners, economists and financial experts, as well as representatives from labor unions and nonprofit groups, to talk about how we can work together to create jobs and get this economy moving again.”
–President Barack Obama, Remarks by the President on the Economy, 11/12/09 
Economy Highlights:

• President Obama announced that the White House will hold an economic forum in December to bring together CEOs, small business owners, economists, financial experts, and representatives from labor unions and nonprofit groups to discuss job creation and begin to build consensus on additional action to create jobs and help our economy continue to recover. [Washington Post, 11/13/09]
• The Labor Department announced that new claims for unemployment insurance fell more than expected last week to a seasonally adjusted 502,000, the fewest claims since the week ending January 3, and “below economists’ estimates. The four-week average, which smoothes fluctuations, dropped to 519,750, the lowest in almost a year. It has fallen by more than 20 percent since its peak in the spring.” [Associated Press, 11/12/09]

Recovery Highlights:

• Vice President Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that the Department of Transportation has started more than 10,000 transportation projects across America as a result of its swift allocation of Recovery Act funds. “As of this week, state agencies reported a total of 10,041 approved. … To date, the U.S. Department of Transportation has made $48.1 billion available for highway, road, transit, bridge and airport construction and repairs nationwide. Of that, $30.6 billion already has been obligated to fund 10,041 approved projects in 53 U.S. States and Territories, with 6,547 transportation projects underway.” [Office of the Vice President, 11/12/09]

• Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the final rules that states must follow in order to compete for $4.35 billion in education grants under the Recovery Act. The program, called Race to the Top, is one of the most significant competitions within the Recovery Act and the largest allocation of federal discretionary funding ever for local schools. This program aims to turn around failing schools and “comes as states are struggling to fill huge school budget gaps, which some estimates say could top $20 billion by 2011.” [Wall Street Journal, 11/12/09]