White House Economist Austan Goolsbee Predicts Growth in 2011

Austan GoolsbeeWith 14.5 million Americans jobless and the unemployment rate at 9.4 percent, President Barack Obama delivers his second State of the Union address on Tuesday and is expected to focus on job creation, American competitiveness and the overall state of the economy.

As we kick off a weeklong series devoted to bringing job seekers the tools they need to find a job in today's economy, AOL Jobs discussed the administration's 2011 plans for job growth and the economy with Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors and the youngest member the Obama administration who holds a Cabinet-rank position.

This year "marks the transition that we're leaving the rescue phase of the economy, where the effort was to stop the free fall and prevent the depression, and transitioning to a growth and competitiveness phase to re-establish and maintain the United States as the premier economy of the world," Goolsbee says.

Although 1.3 million private sector jobs were added in 2010, Goolsbee says, "The president is the first to say it's got to be more than that, and that we've got to accelerate the growth rate."

The Obama administration expects the deal struck with China last week to do just that. The agreement, reached between President Obama and President Hu Jinato of China during his visit to the White House, aims to make the United States more competitive and create 235,000 American jobs by opening China's markets to high-end American exports.

In his most recent weekly address, Obama said, "Here's the truth about the economy: If we're serious about fighting for American jobs and American businesses, one of the most important things we can do is open up more markets to American goods around the world."

AOL Jobs Asks
Austan Goolsbee
5 Quick Questions

1. What was your first job? I priced comic books at the Ames Used Bookstore in Whittier, Calif.

2. What inspires you? Seeing the ambition and stick-to-it-tiveness of young people in the workforce today.

3. What is the most important trait needed to succeed? In government, a sense of humor, as one has to deal with things that are not that fun. But in life, persistence, especially in tough times like this.

4. What is your biggest challenge? For government policy, it is getting millions of people back to work. For the overall economy, it is to grow and maintain our status as the premier economy in the world.

5. What is the best career advice you ever received? "If you're in a job, don't just do the minimum of what's necessary. Always try to learn more and see how far you can go."

And in another sign of his attention on the economy, the president announced on Friday the creation of The Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. This board will be headed by GE's chairman and chief executive, Jeff Immelt, and will focus on getting Americans back to work by growing the U.S. economy and encouraging the private sector to invest in American businesses.

Concern about jobs cross party lines in Washington. Last week, the Republican-led House passed a bill with the controversial name of "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act." Though the bill was basically a symbolic gesture -- because it has no chance of prevailing in the Democratic-controlled Senate -- members from both sides have stated that they are willing to tweak the health care reform bill, eliminating "bad" provisions but keeping the good ones.

One thing everyone seems to agree on is that the rate of job growth needs to increase substantially, if the unemployment rate is to return to normal levels of 5-6 percent. While that could take up to five years, economists forecast that the unemployment rate will drop to around 8.9 percent by the end of 2011.

How confident are you that the economy will improve in 2011?
Very confident1 (33.3%)
More hopeful than confident1 (33.3%)
Not at all confident1 (33.3%)

"We're heading in the right direction," Goolsbee says, " but we have a long way to go."

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As if any of these goons in the white house could even predict the sunset. What a bunch of clueless clowns !!!

January 29 2011 at 9:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rick Linstrom

I beg to differ, Buckeye . . . that's the job of hard Capitalism.

January 24 2011 at 6:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony Moschetti

Areen't these the same people who told us that if the Patronage (stimulus) Bill was passed unemployment would not exceed 8%, and would create 3.5 MILLION jobs by 2011!

Or that Obamacare would REDUCE the deficit!

January 24 2011 at 3:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If Goolsbee is wrong.
Will he resign from the government and return money he received for doing nothing?
Will Liberal Universites not hire him because he will have proven incompetant?

January 24 2011 at 11:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We keep outsourcing jobs. My own job was lost because of that. More and more things are made overseas, done overseas. Of course, our job situations aren't going to get any better. Nobody needs to waste taxpayer money to do studies on that. We all know.

January 24 2011 at 11:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Austin seems like a decent guy; but he is Programmed to LIE like Obama and the Rest of the Adm. Everything and I mean everything is far worse than it was 2 years ago. I am speaking from a personal viewpoint. I have had NO Salary Increases and everything is HIGHER.

January 24 2011 at 11:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

why would our economy be any good we have people using the system not paying taxes we out source all our jobs to china and all over the world . were getting taxed everytime we breath.

January 24 2011 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This guy is so out of touch! He actually said "the ambition and stick-to-it-tiveness of the young people" inspires him? I've been an employer for close to 30 years and this generation of young people are the laziest and most dishonest of any I have employed. This joker is the epitome of this Administration........not a clue as to the real America. Two years and there is not one positive CHANGE in any sector and the HOPE is fading. Oh wait, there is a positive change in the "green" areas because the government has handed "green" businesses billions for doing nothing.

January 24 2011 at 11:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

When will the common man wake up(Probably Never)! Republicans want to water down or elimate whatever benifit the comman man, but they tell the common man what is best for them & the common man get suckered in yet again. Republicans play hard ball and are very agressively supporting the RICH!
What both parties do not want to admit, is that we are and have been in a depression. It is the Republican party that eliminated federal reregulation on the banks and on businesses. They actually started the process on the mess we are in with the Regan administration.
Republicans want to put an end to entitlements (Social Security as the top)! It is the Republican party that RAIDED the Social Security and Civil Service Retirement Systems to balance the budget, and put them in jepordy!
WAKE UP AMERICA! You have a brain - USE IT! Don't let others tell you how to think.
Vote, and Vote Wisely in the next elections. The public did NOT give a mandate! Let's take back, rule of the People, By the People - That was the intention of our constitution!

January 24 2011 at 11:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Labor has been crushed in this country, this isn't the 1980s anymore. The problem this time is not Labor (or Unions), but business who have learned to make record insane profits with less labor and cheaper labor. A lot of American consumers have been eliminated by being laid off and no longer contributing to generating consumer demand.

It is not education either. I've heard of a story where 9 company tax accountants were laid off with the remaining 3 feeding instructions on how to do their jobs to Indians in India. Are the Indians better educated? No they are not, they are much more willing to work for much less pay.

January 24 2011 at 11:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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