Jobs summit

JOBS SUMMIT…. One of the more intriguing reports from the Hill yesterday was word that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is eyeing “a new job-creation bill in the wake of the 10.2 percent unemployment rate.” There are no available details as of yet, but the subject was reportedly broached during the Senate Democratic caucus’ weekly meeting on Tuesday.

Today, we see some additional indications of Democratic leaders’ priorities. President Obama, before leaving for a trip to Asia, delivered a three-minute statement in the White House on a jobs summit he’ll host next month.

The president noted the economic stability and growth we’ve seen thanks to government intervention, but added that “the economic growth that we’ve seen has not yet led to the job growth that we desperately need.”

He added, “Hiring often takes time to catch up to economic growth. Given the magnitude of the economic turmoil we’ve experienced, employers are reluctant to hire.” Next month’s summit is apparently intended to explore new ideas about boosting the job market.

The “forum” on job growth, as the president described it, will feature business leaders, small business owners, economists, financial experts, and leaders from unions and non-profit groups.

“We all know there are limits to what government can and should do, even during such difficult times,” the president said, “but we have an obligation to consider every additional and responsible step that we can to encourage and accelerate job creation in this country.”

As a rule, there’s reason for skepticism when it comes to the efficacy of summits like these. The gatherings rarely produce meaningful, concrete proposals. The point, however, is about highlighting priorities and demonstrating a commitment to the public.

As Atrios put it yesterday, after word of Reid’s intentions was reported, “No specifics yet, but at least Dems are realizing they’d better get on it.”