The Huffington Post published an article by Leo Hindery, Jr. this morning in which Mr. Hindery tells about his task force’s new report, “Vision of Economic Renewal: An American Jobs Agenda.” This report includes a series of 15 recommendations (issued by The Task Force on Job Creation) for reversing America’s economic crisis.
The article is interesting. If you would like to know about all 15 recommendations, click through and read it.
My focus here is on the last of the 15 recommendations — extend the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (aka WOTC) including the temporary (and now expired) Disconnected Youth category.
The task force is concerned about high unemployment of America’s youth – particularly those between the ages of 16 and 24.
“The hardest hit among the unemployed are young people. Almost 25 percent of teenagers from 16 to 19 are officially unemployed. For young adults aged 20 to 24, unemployment is nearly 16 percent — a number not seen since 1948. Many of these disconnected youth are at risk of becoming permanently disengaged from the labor market. Young people who do not have a successful work experience by age 25 are also at greater risk of lifelong poverty.”
Extending WOTC with its Disconnected Youth category is one way to create more job opportunities for these young potential workers.
The task force’s credentials are impressive and might give some members of Congress a reason to pay attention. For example, Mr. Hindery is chair of the Smart Globalization Initiative at the New America Foundation and the former CEO of AT&T Broadband and its predecessors, Tele-Communications, Inc. and Liberty Media.
Mr. Hindery’s co-chair on the task force was Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers and a member of the executive council of the AFL-CIO. The 20 person task force also included other “policy makers, economists, business and labor leaders” whose names are not mentioned in the Huffington Post article.
WOTC is slated to expire at the end of December 2011. As I’ve reported previously, this is not unusual . . . Congress has had to reauthorize WOTC eight times since it’s inception in 1996 (see previous post, The Rocky Road of WOTC).
The issue is somewhat different today, however, in that the U.S. Department of Labor recently recommended termination of WOTC — a small and misguided contribution toward reducing the national budget deficit. I’ve seen no indication so far that any legislators are taking that recommendation seriously. The recommendation, nevertheless, is a token of the volatile political environment we currently face. It is an environment in which almost nothing is certain, except of course death and taxes.