warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Obama Pushes US Businesses To Keep Jobs At Home

Catherine Green |
January 7, 2012 | 1:33 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

Obama during his Jan. 4 visit to Cleveland, Ohio. (Pete Souza/White House)
Obama during his Jan. 4 visit to Cleveland, Ohio. (Pete Souza/White House)
In his weekly address Saturday, President Obama announced a reinforced effort to encourage job growth, asking U.S. businesses to focus on keeping jobs at home.

The White House will host a forum Wednesday, Insourcing American Jobs, inviting top executives from domestic businesses like Master Lock, GalaxE Solutions and chemicals company DuPont, according to a Reuters report.

The president seemed encouraged by lowered unemployment numbers released this week. "We just learned that our economy added 212,000 private sector jobs in December," he said in his uploaded address. "After losing more than 8 million jobs in the recession, we’ve added more than 3 million private sector jobs over the past 22 months. And we’re starting 2012 with manufacturing on the rise and the American auto industry on the mend.

"We’re heading in the right direction," he continued. "And we’re not going to let up."

See the Jan. 7 address below:

As the race for reelection draws near, some are unsurprised to find Obama emphasizing this kind of initiative.

From Reuters:

The emphasis on keeping U.S. jobs at home is in line with a populist economic message championed by Obama that could play well with union workers, whose support the Democratic president will need to win re-election in November.

The White House sees an increasing trend of companies deciding to "insource" jobs and invest in U.S.-based plants and factories, according to a White House official. It wants to encourage more businesses to follow that trend, the official said.

The practice of U.S. companies moving jobs to foreign countries such as India and China, where labor is cheaper, is a source of concern to many U.S. workers.

The issue resonates strongly in Midwest industrial states such as Ohio and Michigan that have been hard hit, not only by the 2007-2009 economic crisis, but also by years of shrinkage in the manufacturing jobs sector. Many of those states are battlegrounds that are vital to Obama's re-election hopes.

Meanwhile, pollsters and analysts have been debating whether the correlation between an upward trend in jobs and Obama's reelection chances are all in the president's head.

From a Bloomberg Businessweek report Saturday:

“This can make a difference for Obama if it persists into the spring,” said Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of the Gallup Poll in Princeton, New Jersey. “It’s the sense of direction in the economy that matters more than the numbers.”

After the longest period of unemployment above 8 percent since the Great Depression, the economy is the focal point of the 2012 campaign, with voters consistently telling pollsters it is the top issue for them.

… Obama’s job approval has been edging up in recent months. The Gallup tracking poll showed him with an approval rating of 45 percent Jan. 3-5 against monthly averages of 43 percent in December and November and a monthly average of 41 percent in each of the prior three months.

Yesterday’s jobs numbers won’t change the strategy for Republican presidential candidates, according to Matt Mackowiak, a Republican strategist and president of Potomac Strategy Group LLC in Washington.

“One good jobs number doesn’t erase a misery across the country,” he said in an interview. “No one believes that because the numbers were better than expected, that the economy is in good shape.”

Steve Elmendorf, a deputy campaign manager for Democrat John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign who is now a lobbyist, said “any economic good news is good news” for Obama.

Elmendorf said the president can make the case that if voters re-elect him he can continue moving the economy in the right direction, while, “There’s a danger if you elect the other guy” the recovery could stall.

Though most agree the lowered unemployment rate is encouraging sign that the country's economy may finally be improving, it's yet to be seen whether this is too little, too late for Obama's shot at Round 2.

Reach Catherine here; follow her here.

Best way to find more great content from Neon Tommy?

Or join our email list below to enjoy Neon Tommy News Alerts.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.