Via CNN, of course:
At a conference where many of the comments were focused on government barriers to hiring, GE (GE, Fortune 500) Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt acknowledged there needed to be some policy changes by Congress and the Obama administration. But he said that the responsibility for hiring lay with businesses.
“The people who are part of the business sector, the people in this room, have got to stop complaining about government and get some action underway,” he told the group. “There’s no excuse today for lack of leadership. The truth is we all need to be part of the solution.”
Immelt is the chair of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. He said the group has made a number of recommendations for changes in government policies that should be able to help job creation, such as the executive order announced Monday asking independent agencies to rid their books of old and outdated regulations.
Immelt said he is committed to working with Obama on other moves that can help hiring, and that he expects to have proposals by the end of the year that should help to create up to 1 million jobs.
But he said that it’s important that businesses take action — like taking some risks, and thinking about bringing back jobs that had been moved overseas.
[Immelt] said that arguing between business groups and the government isn’t in the best interest of the nation’s economy.
“We can’t always be fighting. We need to act, and the private sector can do more,” he said.
The Chamber’s jobs summit came in the wake of a disappointing government jobs report that showed hiring ground to a near halt in June. Immelt and other speakers referred to the report as a sign of the serious problems facing the labor market.
“We have a lot of work to do,” he said.
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