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Where are the Jobs?

Job seekers wait in line to have their résumés reviewed at the second annual Anaheim/Orange County Job Fair.
Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images
Job seekers wait in line to have their résumés reviewed at the second annual Anaheim/Orange County Job Fair.

In a word, the message of Wednesday’s meeting between President Obama and a group of invited CEOs was: jobs. After the meeting, my job was to stand outside the appointed venue (Blair House) and target CEOs for commentary. Some of them stopped—here’s what they had to say:

Lewis Hay Chairman, CEO & President of NextEra Energy

“I’m confident that he’s very, very focused on creating jobs. I think he got the message from the midterm elections that that’s what’s on Americans minds and I think he’s very determined to get more people working and get the economy growing faster.”

Brian Roberts, Comcast Chairman & CEO

“I think it was a really constructive dialogue. How do we get more jobs, how we can be competitive against the rest of the world and create those jobs here in America and great products and services. And it was a good back and forth, a good give and take, a really productive meeting.”


James Rogers Duke Energy Chairman, President & CEO

“Very good meeting focused on jobs, focused on growth, focused on making America competitive. Open, trusting dialogue, I thought it was terrific.” Get the message? Clearly, the President is focused on the lack of jobs and the need to create more of them. But while I felt the CEOs came out enthused and optimistic, it wasn’t entirely clear what the game plan is to create those jobs.

Boeing CEO James McNerney told CNBC President Obama is interested and engaged and found the conversation “heartening”. Mr. McNerney also said the President wants ideas from the CEOs in 30-45 days.

Bottom line:

Corporates are long cash.

America is short jobs.

CEOs want tax "competitiveness" aka corporate tax cuts.

Let’s see who blinks first in the New Year.

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Companies mentioned in this post

NextEra

Comcast

Duke Energy

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