Recommendations > Recommendation Detail

Taking Action, Building Confidence:
Five Common Sense Initiatives to Create Jobs

Jobs Council Report to the President


Jobs Council Mission

President Obama convened the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, asking leaders from business, labor and academia to develop ideas to accelerate job growth and improve the country’s long-term position.

The Jobs Council offers in this report a series of targeted proposals that can meaningfully accelerate job creation while beginning to rebuild America’s competitiveness. There is no one “silver bullet” to create jobs. Recognizing this, the Council has sought to generate multiple ideas that together can add up to real progress. We have identified and prioritized many areas that don’t depend on major legislative action or government funding. As a nonpartisan group, we’ve also steered clear of the fights that invariably swirl around the nation’s current economic strains.

The Council has pursued a three-phase approach to its work: catalyzing job growth by capturing “low hanging fruit” over the short-term; focusing on broader ways to accelerate job creation while also lifting U.S. competitiveness over the next two to five years; and developing proposals on the broader factors influencing American competitiveness over the next five to 10 years.

Jobs Council Recommendations

Invest Aggressively and Efficiently in Competitive Infrastructure and Energy

The Jobs Council recommends a set of proposals to accelerate public and private investment in U.S. energy and infrastructure. Upgrading the nation’s transportation and energy infrastructure is a win-win for the United States. It creates jobs in the near term, at a time when more than one million construction workers are out of work, and improves America’s long-term competitiveness by enabling a more productive economy.

Detailed Jobs Council infrastructure recommendations.

Detailed Jobs Council energy recommendations.

Nurture the High-Growth Enterprises that Create New Jobs

Startups and small firms are the key to U.S. job growth. Over the last three decades, high-growth enterprises less than five years old have created 40 million net new jobs, accounting for all the net new job creation in America. The Jobs Council recommends that the Administration, Congress and the private sector implement a comprehensive package to unleash startups and empower small businesses.

Detailed Jobs Council high-growth recommendations.

Launch a National Investment Initiative

The U.S. became the largest economy in the world by being the best place for companies to invest and grow. In the late 1990s, the U.S. attracted nearly 26% of global foreign direct investment (FDI), but that figure has dropped roughly a third, to about 18%, today. The Jobs Council recommends that the U.S. create a National Investment Initiative (NII) comprised of a number of proposals aimed at regaining America’s place as the premier destination for foreign and domestic investment. The primary goal we propose for the NII is to attract one trillion dollars of foreign direct investment over the next four to five years, which would be a 20-25% increase over recent trends.

Detailed Jobs Council National Investment Initiative recommendation.

Improve and Balance Regulatory Review and Streamline Project Approvals

To make the U.S. competitive and to speed the creation of jobs already in the pipeline, we need to adopt global best practices to streamline approval processes and use common sense metrics to measure progress. The Jobs Council has focused on several areas of substantial impact – broad areas of regulatory reform that could accelerate job creation – and has worked closely with the administration on a number of specifically targeted initiatives to create an immediate impact.

Detailed Jobs Council regulatory recommendations.

Develop Talent to Fill Today’s Jobs and Fuel Tomorrow’s

There are roughly 3 million jobs openings today, many of which have gone unfilled for a significant period of time because workers do not have the required skills. The Jobs Council believes there is an urgent near-term agenda on talent that can help ease today’s jobs woes, and a broader long-term talent agenda to renew America’s competitiveness. In this report we focus on progress already being made in the near-term through private-sector led initiatives.

Detailed Jobs Council skills training recommendations.


Summary of Jobs Council “Taking Action, Building Confidence” (pdf).