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Job creation: Workers (and business) unite!

EARLY next month Barack Obama plans to speak about jobs. There are not enough of them, and frustration on that subject got a boost this month when Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, entered the Republican presidential race. Mr Perry’s best selling point is that, since June 2009, Texas has created 40% of America’s net new jobs. Democrats have been quick to query the statistic, but the fervour of their attacks suggest that this is a sore spot. It should be. The national unemployment rate stands at 9.1%, and conditions are significantly worse for young people, Latinos and blacks.Mr Obama will propose new ideas, such as an “infrastructure bank” to put people to work upgrading railway lines and roads. He will also reiterate his commitment to workforce training, which helps people polish their skills, or acquire new ones, through specialised training schemes, mostly at community colleges, designed in collaboration with the private sector and local officials. These receive federal funding—last year’s health-care reform sets aside about $2 billion in funding for community colleges—and Mr Obama reckons that they could help half a million people to earn new credentials.This may look like meddling, and close to tacit industrial policy, but it is practical. Many companies actually have slots available, but cannot find people qualified to fill them. And around the country, states and…

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