Can Obama's job program counter economic reports?

FILE -- President Barack Obama speaks at Northern Virginia Community College Alexandria, Va. Campus, Wednesday, June 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

June 8, 2011 6:34:26 PM PDT
President Barack Obama announced his plans for a new job training program designed to put half a million people back to work in manufacturing. It appears to be an effort by the president to counter recent negative economic reports.

Speaking at a community college outside of Washington D.C., Obama painted a picture of what he hopes to see.

"I see a future where we train workers who make things here in the United States," Obama said.

Obama says he will expand a government training program to give a half million community college students the skills needed for jobs in manufacturing.

But on Wall Street, stocks dropped again on reports the economy stalled in New York Philadelphia, Atlanta and Chicago, extending a week long slide. Only Dallas reported accelerated growth, largely due to the effect of higher oil prices and the region's energy industry.

In the Bay Area, Oakland and the East Bay job growth is down from last year six-tenths of 1 percent. Unemployment in the East Bay stands at 10.4 percent and a labor management consultant for the Economic Development Department says job growth in the East Bay is down, even from last year.

"2010 was not a great year and the East Bay is still down in total jobs compared to that period of time, but it is down by fewer jobs than it had been at an earlier point in the downturn," Ruth Kavanagh said.

At Oakland's Economic Development Department's job center, Charles Wilson has been looking for three months.

"I haven't got anything yet, but everything is going great, so we'll figure it out and we'll get it going," Wilson said.

South Bay jobs are growing faster than any other metropolitan area in the state. In fact, unemployment is down from last year. The same goes for San Francisco and Marin, which are actually below the national average.

An ABC News- Washington Post poll shows this issue is hurting the president politically. Fifty-nine percent of those polled disapprove of the way Obama is handling the economy.

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