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Obama names jobs expert as top White House economist


Obama names jobs expert as top White House economist


President Barack Obama has said he will unveil proposals next week aimed at spurring job growth in part through improvements in infrastructure.

Obama previewed his jobs package as he announced his choice to take over as the chief economic advisor to the White House.

The US president said: “I’m very pleased to nominate Alan Krueger to chair the Council of Economic Advisors. Alan brings a wealth of experience to the job, he’s one of the nation’s leading economists, for more than two decades he’s studied and developed economic policy both inside and outside of Government”.

Krueger has served previously in the Obama administration as a economist with the Treasury Department and is an expert on the labour market.

That is an area where Obama’s is facing deep dissatisfaction from the American people with the US unemployment rate over nine percent and lacklustre economic growth.

The president will unveil a jobs package in a speech planned for shortly after the Sept. 5 Labor Day holiday.

He said he would lay out a series of steps that the US Congress can take immediately to put more money in the pockets of middle class families and put construction crews to work.

This was a sign he will go ahead with plans to propose an extension of a payroll tax cut and will seek money for infrastructure improvements such as repairing bridges and roads as a way to get Americans working.

Republicans in Congress have taken a dim view of new stimulus spending, which means Obama could have trouble gaining bipartisan support for his plan.

“My hope and expectation is that we can put country before party and get something done for the American people,” he said.

As Obama spoke, new figures were released showing US consumer spending rose at its fastest pace in five months in July, backing views the world’s largest economy was not falling back into recession, although pending sales of previously owned homes fell in the same period.

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