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July 19, 2013

Put job creation at the heart of the global recovery

The US is again a source of strength in the world economy, only five years after it was the centre of a global crisis. This has not happened by accident. While we have more work to do, this shows that, with good macroeconomic policy, a resilient economy can bounce back and create jobs.

When the finance and labour ministers of the Group of 20 leading nations gather in Moscow, getting people back to work must be top of the agenda. In many parts of the world, such as Europe, growth is too weak to drive job creation, and it is critical to take steps to bolster private hiring. Elsewhere, as in China, it is critical to speed reforms to shift towards demand-led growth.

Back in 2008 the US promised to address the vulnerabilities in our economy. And we did. President Barack Obama’s administration reformed, repaired and recapitalised the financial sector, and introduced rigorous stress tests to make sure our banks have the capital needed to start providing credit again. The Federal Reserve has provided the US economy with vital support tied to its dual mandate of full employment and price stability.

When the economy was in free fall, Mr Obama acted decisively to provide fiscal support for jobs and private demand through, for example, tax credits and extending the duration of unemployment benefits. While long-term fiscal policy requires tough decisions, we knew we could not cut our way to prosperity. When it became clear that the private sector needed further time to gain strength in the face of headwinds from Europe, we acted again through a temporary cut in the payroll tax.”


Read Jack Lew’s full opinion piece in the Financial Times here

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