Obama Job Creation Programs

Throughout the 2008 election, then-Senator Barack Obama spoke about improving the economy and saving or creating jobs. Since he has taken office, the President has signed into law some of the most sweeping economic stimulus spending this country has ever seen.

The President has said his goal is to save or create 2.5 million jobs by 2011.

The President has said he wants to make public buildings more energy-efficient; repair roads and bridges; modernize schools; increase broadband access; and ensure health care uses the latest technology. In addition, he has often said that law enforcement and education are critical efforts.

This means that jobs in energy efficiency, construction, education, law enforcement and IT are likely to experience a boom over the next few years. In addition, the administration will have to increase staffing to manage all this record spending and try to minimize fraud, waste and abuse.

According to an article by Philip Rucker in the Washington Post, the “$3.6 trillion plan … proposes spending billions to begin initiatives and implement existing programs, and given Obama’s insistence that he would scale back the use of private-sector contractors, his priorities could reverse a generational decline in the size of the government workforce.”

The likely outcome will be that for the first time in three decades, the federal workforce could actually start growing again.

The Reagan years reversed a trend in government growth that had been the norm from the 1940s on. The 80s brought a steep decline in the federal workforce. Later, President Bush added tens of thousands of jobs at the Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Agency, but cut hiring in other places.

Some Bush/Reagan critics say these cuts left the workforce understaffed and hurting. Advocates of small government argued that the cuts saved billions of dollars in taxpayer money.

There are many different estimates of how many new government (versus private industry) jobs Obama’s plan will create. Some groups estimate as many as 100,000 new government jobs will open up, while the conservative heritage Foundation said it is likely to be closer to a quarter-million.

Whatever the actual number turns out to be, there is no arguing with the fact that some big changes are on the way. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) spokesman Kenneth Baer was quoted in the Washington Post as saying, “The federal workforce is going to undergo a fundamental transformation over the next decade as baby boomers who entered government service in the 1960s retire.”

The combination of economic stimulus and a large group of retirees has the potential to create a perfect storm of job opportunity.

“The conditions are right for federal agencies to bring in top talent,” Max Stier, President and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, said in a press release. “The question is, will they take advantage of this opportunity or let it pass?”

Sign up for our newsletter!