Obama jobs bill: helping or hurting?


President Barack Obama recently released his plan to combat the current flailing job market.

The legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate has been sharply criticized as a continuation of the 2010 stimulus effort made by the administration.

While The American Jobs Act of 2011 may not be on the top of every BYU student’s radar, there are some  following the White House’s effort to create jobs. A recent graduate of the Marriott School of Management MPA program, Dave Owen, said Obama should focus on small companies.

“It looks like they [the Obama administration] have tried to put together some new ideas ,” Owen said.

Owen is also co-founder of FindProz.com, a web-based micro-enterprise start-up helping underemployed Americans become entrepreneurs.

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President Obama gestures during a LinkedIn Town Hall Meeting at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., Monday, Sept. 26, 2011, as he participates in “Putting America Back to Work: LinkedIn Presents a Town Hall with President Obama.”

“If you really want to spur job growth, stop dumping billions of dollars into large corporations and focus on clearing the brush for small start-up companies,” he said.

The text of the bill is roughly 155 pages long and has been introduced only in the U.S. Senate, but not the House of Representatives, by Nevada Sen. Harry Reid.

According to August 2011 reports released by the Department of Labor, the national unemployment rate is 9.1 percent.

“President Barack Obama laid out a set of bipartisan ideas to create jobs whose size and scope reflects the urgent need to put Americans back to work,” Reid said in a public statement.

Obama tasked Congress to find a way to fund the bill, which will have an immediate $477 billion price tag.

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Graph depicting the first round of stimulus projections and to-date real effects and outcome.

Gage Zobell from Montana, first-year student in the J. Reuben Clark Law School,  has been following the progress of the “American Jobs Act of 2011.” Zobell said he supports some parts of the bill, but has reservations.

“I support aspects of the new Obama jobs bill,” Zobell said. “This legislation has not given me much hope in our political system or in my future job prospects. I still view my best hope for a job is through hard work, study and belief in an American dream where my work ethic is rewarded.”

A  study by the Association for Legal Career Professionals reports the employment rate for the class of 2010 law graduates has hit a 15-year low, with 87.6 percent employment. The employment rate hasn’t been that low for legal professionals since 1996, when the rate was 87.4 percent.

As the urgency for job creation continues to rise, the American Jobs Act of 2011 has yet to be scheduled for a vote and is expected to be stalled until October.`

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