Aug 18 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to unveil a plan in early September to jump-start the U.S. economy and tackle the country’s 9 percent unemployment rate.
Here are some past speeches in which Obama addressed jobs and proposed measures to spur job creation:
* UNEMPLOYMENT RATE ON ITS WAY UP - January 2009
After unemployment hit 7.3 percent in December 2008, the highest in nearly 16 years, then President-elect Obama promised to set a new course for the economy in a speech at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, on Jan. 8.
Obama pushed for an $800 billion stimulus package to speed up job creation and improve credit flow.
“If nothing is done, this recession could linger for years,” he said. “The unemployment rate could reach double digits.”
He signed the stimulus package into law the next month. At the time, he predicted that his plan would save or create more than 3.5 million jobs over the next two years.
The unemployment rate in January was 7.8 percent.
* DEFENDING THE STIMULUS PACKAGE - April 2009
Just three months into his presidency, Obama defended his economic strategy and gave a detailed review of the steps he had taken to boost the staggering economy and create jobs in a speech at George Washington University in Washington.
He said the stimulus package provided tax cuts for 95 percent of working families, extended unemployment benefits and continued healthcare coverage for jobless Americans.
He called on the auto industry to create jobs by making fuel-efficient cars and pave the way for a clean-energy future.
“It does not mean the hard times are over; 2009 will continue to be a difficult year for America’s economy, and obviously, most difficult for those who’ve lost their jobs,” he said.
The unemployment rate in April 2009 was 8.9 percent.
* NEW IDEAS FOR MORE JOBS - December 2009
Facing Republican criticism that his stimulus plan was failing to make a major dent on unemployment, Obama again defended his strategy in a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington and offered modest new steps to spur job creation.
He attributed a slight dip in the unemployment rate, which fell to 9.9 percent in November from 10.1 percent the previous month, to his policies.
“This is welcome news, and news made possible in part by the up to 1.6 million jobs that the Recovery Act has already created and saved according to the Congressional Budget Office,” Obama said.
In September 2009, Obama had signed into law a $30 billion plan to provide capital to small businesses. This was followed by another new law in November to ensure additional unemployment insurance for 1 million Americans.
Without specific details, Obama proposed tax incentives to small businesses that retained employees or hired new ones.
He called for a modernization of transportation and communications networks to encourage the private sector to hire workers and proposed expanding initiatives to promote energy efficiency and clean-energy jobs.
The unemployment rate was stuck at 9.9 percent in December.
* CLEAN-ENERGY JOBS - Jan. 8, 2010
Obama announced an initiative to provide $2.3 billion in tax credits to manufacturers of clean technologies in an attempt to encourage job creation.
“The initiative we’re outlining today will likely generate 17,000 jobs, and the roughly $5 billion more that we’ll leverage in the private sector investments could help create tens of thousands of additional jobs,” Obama said.
The unemployment rate in January dropped slightly to 9.7 percent.
* RECASTING THE JOBS AGENDA - Jan. 27, 2010
With unemployment stuck at about 10 percent, Obama used his annual State of the Union speech to recast his jobs and deficit reduction agenda.
Obama called for a $155 billion jobs bill to boost the labor market.
He proposed taking $30 billion from the bank bailout plan to fund small business loans and a new small business tax credit to help 1 million small businesses hire new workers.
“But the truth is, these steps won’t make up for the 7 million jobs that we’ve lost over the last two years,” he said.
In March, Obama signed into law a $17.6 billion jobs bill, passed by Congress after weeks of bickering. The legislation exempted businesses from paying the 6.2 percent payroll tax on new employees who had previously been out of work. Employers would also get a $1,000 tax credit if those workers were still on the job a year later.
* JOBS THROUGH INFRASTRUCTURE - September 2010
At a Labor Day rally in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Obama announced a $50 billion investment to rebuild aging roads, railways and runways to push job creation.
“We are going to rebuild 150,000 miles of our roads — that’s enough to circle the world six times. ... We’re going to lay and maintain 4,000 miles of our railways — enough to stretch coast-to-coast.”
This plan was immediately rejected by Republicans, who then went on to win a majority in the House of Representatives in the November 2010 elections.
A small business jobs bill was signed into law in late September, providing more than $12 billion in loans and tax relief to small business owners, partly to encourage new hiring.
The unemployment rate in September was 9.6 percent.
* JOBS FOR RURAL AMERICA - August 2011
In speeches at town hall-style events during a three-day trip to the rural Midwest that ended on Wednesday, Obama made job creation a recurring theme.
He unveiled some new modest job creation plans. He committed $350 million in funding over the next five years for rural small businesses and proposed expanding job search and training services, improving access to private capital and rural access to healthcare.
“There are a lot of folks, a lot of our neighbors, a lot of our friends who’ve been out of work too long. We’ve got too many small businesses that are struggling,” Obama said at an event in Decorah, Iowa.
The latest unemployment rate, for July, is 9.1 percent. (Reporting by Malathi Nayak in Washington; Editing by Eric Beech)