Washington: Asserting the manufacturing sector added about five lakh jobs in the last three years, US President Barack Obama on Saturday said there was a need to accelerate this trend and make it a "magnet" of high-tech jobs and manufacturing.
"After shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 5,00,000 jobs over the past three. What we need to do now is simple. We need to accelerate that trend," Obama said in his weekly radio and web address to the nation.
He said there was need to launch manufacturing hubs across the country that will transform hard-hit regions into global centres of high-tech jobs and manufacturing.
"We need to make our tax code more competitive, ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and rewarding companies that create jobs here at home," he said.
The President said there was need to invest in the research and technology that will allow the country to harness more of its own energy and put more people back to work, "repairing our crumbling roads and bridges".
Obama has addressed meetings in North Carolina, Georgia and Chicago to put forward his agenda of economic growth.
These steps, he argued, will help US businesses expand and create new jobs.
"But we also need to provide every American with the skills and training they need to fill those jobs.
Let's start in the earliest years by offering high-quality pre-school to every child in America, because we know kids in these programmes do better throughout their lives," he said.
"Let's redesign our high schools so that our students graduate with skills that employers are looking for right now.
"And because taxpayers can't continue to subsidise the soaring cost of higher education, I've called on Congress to take affordability and value into account when determining which colleges receive certain types of federal aid," Obama said.
Arguing that no one in America should work full-time and raise their children in poverty, he called for raising the minimum wage.
"And it's time to harness the talents and ingenuity of hardworking immigrants by finally passing comprehensive immigration reform - securing our borders, establishing a responsible path to earned citizenship, and attracting the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs," Obama said.
"These steps will help grow our economy and rebuild a rising, thriving middle class. And we can do it while shrinking our deficits. We don't have to choose between the two - we just have to make smart choices," he said.
The US President said over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than USD 2.5 trillion.
This, Obama said, "...Puts us more than halfway towards the goal of USD 4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilise our finances. Now we need to finish the job".
First Published: Saturday, February 16, 2013, 16:47