Priority Number One: Job Creation

Likely voters said their top priority for President Obama’s 2013 budget was job creation, according to a poll conducted last month by The Hill. The president released his fiscal 2013 budget on Feb. 13, and it includes around $350 billion for job creation, including money for jobs in the short-term, in part through investment in transportation projects that generate construction work and other kinds of immediate employment. The new budget also included a proposal for long-term job creation.


In his State of the Union address in January, President Obama said business leaders aren’t finding the skills they need in American workers, and he touted one success story in North Carolina, where a wind turbine factory partnered with a community college to train students in laser and robotics, and then placed them in new jobs in that field. Using that success as a model, the president included a job-training initiative in his fiscal 2013 budget, specifying a multi-year investment of $8 billion in community colleges for just that purpose.

But the president’s budget is just a proposal that lawmakers in Congress will review. And in this election year, Washington insiders don’t expect Congress to pass an actual budget—which is their job—to fund the federal government in the coming fiscal year. Instead lawmakers are likely to use temporary spending measures to fund the government through the November elections. So regardless of how highly most Americans would prioritize job creation on their to-do list for Washington, the president’s job-training initiative is probably a long shot.