New York: Amid worsening economic situation, President elect Barack Obama has expanded his goals for a federal stimulus package that will aim to create or preserve at least 3 million jobs, says a media report.
President elect Barack Obama has expanded his goals for a massive federal stimulus package to keep pace with the increasingly grim economic outlook, aiming to create or preserve at least three million jobs over the next two years, the Washington Post said.
The move comes after a four-hour meeting last week in which Obama’s top economic advisers told him the economy is now expected to lose as many as 3.5 million jobs over the next year, the daily added.
The more aggressive target of 3 million jobs over the next two years up from 2.5 million jobs set a month ago was after recent projections suggested that recession is likely to deepen further.
Obama was told that the worsening downturn could drive unemployment, currently at 6.7%, above 9% a figure not seen since the recession of early 1980s, the report added.
With increasing recessionary fears Obama’s proposal for economic stimulus has soared from $175 billion during the campaign to nearly $800 billion.
Washington Post further said that given the gloomy forecast, Obama last week presented congressional democrats with a proposal to dedicate $675 billion to $775 billion over the next two years to middle class tax cuts — a package designed to jolt the economy while deferring further layoffs and putting people back to work.
Meanwhile, more than 2.1 million individuals have become jobless in the US ever since the world’s largest economy entered into recession last December, with more number of employers resorting to mass layoff actions.
According to a statement of the Bureau of Labour Statistics, on a seasonally adjusted basis: “From the start of the recession in December 2007 through November 2008, the total number of mass layoff events was 20,712, and the number of initial (jobless) claims was 21,08,743.”
In the wake of the worsening financial turmoil, companies worldwide are cutting jobs to cut down costs and more than one-third of the layoffs happened in America.