Jobs & The Economy: Putting America Back to Work

“It is our generation’s task, to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth —
a rising, thriving middle class,”

— President Barack Obama

Jobs & The Economy: Putting America Back to Work

American Jobs Act

"Without a doubt, the most urgent challenge that we face right now is getting our economy to grow faster and to create more jobs…. we can’t wait for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job. Where they won’t act, I will." —President Barack Obama, October 24, 2011

Featured Videos

Watch: What the Jobs Act Means for Schools

President Obama believes that every child deserves a great school.

Download the Enhanced Speech Graphics

See what the President said in his Joint Congressional Session on 9/8/2011

See the Facts

Download the Short Fact Sheet Read the Comprehensive Fact Sheet The American Jobs Act and Your Community

A State By State Look at the American Jobs Act


American Jobs Act Overview

Tax Cuts To Help America's Small Business Hire And Grow

Cutting the payroll tax cut in half for 98 percent of businesses: The President’s plan will cut in half the taxes paid by businesses on their first $5 million in payroll, providing a tax but targeting the benefit to the 98 percent of firms that have payroll below this threshold.

A complete payroll tax holiday for added workers or increased wages: The President’s plan will completely eliminate payroll taxes for firms that increase their payroll by adding new workers or increasing the wages of their current worker (to ensure that this tax cut is focused on small businesses, the tax relief is capped at $50 million in payroll increases)

Encouraging businesses to make investments by extending 100% business expensing into 2012. This extension would put an additional $85 billion in the hands of businesses next year.

Help entrepreneurs and small businesses get access to capital, grow and hire by expanding Small Business Administration backed loan limits, cutting red tape and reforming our patent system.

Putting Workers Back On The Job While Rebuilding And Modernizing America

Offering tax credits to encourage businesses to hire unemployed veterans. Businesses that hire veterans who have been unemployed six months or longer would receive a tax credit up to $5,600, and that credit rises to $9,600 for veterans who also have service-connected disabilities.

Preventing up to 280,000 teacher layoffs, and keeping first responders including firefighters and police officers on the job.

Modernizing at least 35,000 public schools across the country, supporting new science labs, Internet- ready classrooms and school renovations in both rural and urban communities, putting hundreds of thousands of Americans back to work.

Making immediate investments in infrastructure, modernizing our roads, railways and airports, putting hundreds of thousands of workers back on the job.

Project Rebuild: an effort to put people back to work rehabilitating homes and businesses and stabilizing communities, leveraging private capital and scaling up successful models of public-private collaboration.

Expanding wireless internet access to 98 percent of Americans and first responders by freeing up the nation’s spectrum.

Pathways Back To Working For Americans Looking For Jobs

The most innovative reform to the unemployment insurance program in 40 years: As part of an extension of unemployment insurance to prevent 5 million Americans looking for work from losing their benefits, the President’s plan includes innovative work-based reforms to prevent layoffs and give states greater flexibility to use UI funds to best support job-seekers and connect them to work, including:

  • Work Sharing: UI for workers whose employers choose work-sharing over layoffs
  • Improved reemployment services for the long-term unemployed through counseling, and eligibility assessments.
  • A new “Bridge to Work” program: The plan builds on and improves innovative state programs where those displaced take temporary, voluntary work or pursue on-the-job training.
  • Innovative entrepreneurship and wage insurance programs: States will also be empowered to implement wage insurance to help reemploy older workers and create programs that make it easier for unemployed workers to start their own businesses.

A $4,000 tax credit to employers for hiring long-term unemployed workers.

Prohibiting employers from discriminating against unemployed workers when hiring.

Expanding job opportunities for low-income youth and adults by investing in promising and proven strategies and programs like summer jobs and sector-based training programs.

Tax Relief For Every American Worker And Family

Cutting payroll taxes in half for 160 million workers next year: The President’s plan will expand the payroll tax cut passed last year to cut workers payroll taxes in half in 2012 – providing a $1,500 tax cut to the typical American family, without negatively impacting the Social Security Trust Fund.

Allowing more Americans to refinance their mortgages at today’s near 4 percent interest rates, which can put more than $2,000 a year in a family’s pocket.

Fully Paid For As Part Of The President's Long-Term Deficit Reduction Plan

To ensure that the American Jobs Act is fully paid for, the President has called on the Joint Congressional Committee to achieve additional deficit reduction necessary to pay for the Act and still meet its deficit target. The President will, in the coming days, release a detailed plan that will show how the Committee can achieve the additional deficit reduction necessary to meet the President’s goal of stabilizing our debt as a share of the economy and pay for his plan to put Americans back to work.

American Jobs Act

Read the full text of the Bill or download the President's message to Congress, a sectional analysis and the
full text
of the American Jobs Act of 2011 (pdf).