Obama calls on US companies to ‘in-source’ jobs; unemployment falls to 8.5%
President Barack Obama kicked off an effort to encourage US businesses to keep jobs at home instead of outsourcing them overseas, as he rolled out a new election-year theme aimed at courting middle-class voters.
In his weekly radio and video address, Obama previewed an event he will hold next week with business executives to highlight the advantages of investing in the United States.
We'll hear from business leaders who are bringing jobs back home and see how we can help other businesses follow their lead, Obama said.
The White House forum on Insourcing American Jobs will be held on Wednesday. Executives from more than a dozen companies will attend, including padlock maker Master Lock, furniture company Lincolnton Furniture, software application developer GalaxE Solutions, and chemicals company DuPont.
The emphasis on keeping US 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 invests in US-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 US companies moving jobs to foreign countries such as India and China, where labor is cheaper, is a source of concern to many US workers.
US employment growth accelerated last month and the jobless rate dropped to a near three-year low of 8.5%, offering the strongest evidence yet the economic recovery was gaining steam.
Nonfarm payrolls increased 200,000 in December, the Labor Department said on Friday. It was the biggest rise in three months and way above economists' expectations for a 150,000 gain.
All the job gains in December came from the private sector, where payrolls rose 212,000 - the most in three months. Government employment contracted 12,000. For all of 2011, the private sector added 1.9 million jobs, while government employment fell 280,000.
We're heading in the right direction. And we're not going to let up, Obama said.
With his mind set in re-election Obama targets job creation and taxes