Women and The American Jobs Act

Last night, President Obama presented Congress with a plan for economic action. For many unemployed Americans, the American Jobs Act could be the difference between finding a job, and remaining unemployed. For those who are employed, it would put more money in their pocket. For small business owners, it would remove barriers to growth, cut taxes, incentivize investment and create new demand.

Every element in this plan has been supported by members of both parties in the past. It would not add a single dime to our deficit. As the President said last night, Congress should pass this plan right away. 

Those in Congress who haven’t yet decided to support the President’s plan should consider how much it will help America’s women and girls.  We’ve put together a factsheet (pdf) that shows what the programs in the American Jobs Act would do for women. I’ll highlight just a few of those programs below.

  • The jobs bill will cut taxes for over 900,000 women small business owners.
  • It will allow 280,000 teachers to keep, or return to, their jobs. This would have an especially large impact for women, who make up 78 percent of America’s K-12 teachers. It would also help modernize 35,000 of the schools where they work, and where our children learn.
  • It will put construction workers back on the job repairing our nation’s roads, bridges, dams, airports and schools, while creating specific employment and job training opportunities for groups that are underrepresented in the construction profession – including women.
  • It will extend unemployment insurance, helping 2.6 million women in danger of losing their benefits.
  • It will provide states with support for summer jobs programs for low-income youth, including the 15.6 percent of women ages 16 to 24 who are unemployed. In 2012 and 2013, this program would support year-round jobs, as well. 
  • It will cut payroll taxes for an estimated 77.9 million working women throughout the country, leaving them with more money to support their families, and spend in their communities.

These are just some of the many ways (pdf) the American Jobs Act will help America’s women as we recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

President Obama Greets People in the Street in Decorah, Iowa

President Barack Obama greets people on the street in Decorah, Iowa, August 16, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

As President Obama put it last night, “We are tougher than the times we live in. And we are bigger than our politics have been.” It’s time for our elected leaders to put country before party, and meet their responsibilities. America’s women and girls are counting on them.

For more on the President’s plan to put Americans back to work, watch the full video of the President's speech to Congress with key stats, figures, and visuals. 

Valerie Jarrett is Senior Advisor to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls

Find out more about the American Jobs Act

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