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Obama begins campaign, highlights jobs as priority

by Adam Russett on June 13, 2011

When it comes to the economy, things haven't looked too well for President Obama in the past few weeks. On data that private job growth is slowing and the unemployment rate spiked back to 9.1 percent, the President has had to start his re-election campaign under a shadow that may not pass over him. 

Monday will see one of his first big announcements concerning jobs. In North Carolina, Obama will tout tourism and green energy jobs as sources of revenue and growth in the near future. He'll give his speech in Durham at a plant where energy-efficient LED lighting is manufactured.

The President has also been closely consulting with his jobs council, which is led by General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt. So far, Immelt and American Express CEO Ken Chennault have called for more job training, which could help fill a gap of 2 million positions that remain open due to a lack of skilled labor.

They highlighted the importance of tourism and construction as industries as well.

"America needs more growth," the two executives wrote in The Wall Street Journal. "The United States needs to reverse trends that developed over a long period of time, and the solutions aren't easy politically, socially or economically. The economic decisions we make now will determine American job creation and competitiveness in the years to come. Government, business and labor need to work together to get this done."

White House adviser Valerie Jarrett suggests that these steps can be taken without taxpayer dollars or legislation that could get tangled in Congress. She pointed to the private sector as the hope for future growth.

"We wanted to look at ways where the private sector could really carry the ball and create this long-term sustainable growth," Jarrett said, MSNBC.com reports. 

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