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In the Nation's Interest

Three Steps US Must Take To Energize Job Creation

We're living in an economic twilight zone. A seemingly healthy economy is seen from afar; one with rising wages and a dropping unemployment rate that now stands at 5.3 percent — within the range of what's considered to be full employment. But when you look up close you see an America that's nowhere close to firing on all cylinders:

  • More than one in four of the unemployed, over two million people, have been looking for work for six months or more.
  • Nearly 94 million people over age of 16 are outside the workforce — a record high.
  • One in seven Americans still lives in poverty.
  • Close to a million more people work part-time than before the Great Recession but want to be employed full-time.

Our economy needs to expand faster and we need more full-time job creation. Congress will return from recess next week. Together with the president, they should take up an agenda with the following three steps — all of which have bi-partisan support — to ramp up job creation.

1. Lift the oil-export ban

Dating back to the '70s fuel crisis, the U.S. energy sector is still barred from selling crude oil outside the country, with few exceptions. No longer does this make sense from an economic or a national security standpoint. Our newfound capabilities to efficiently extract energy from shale, of which we have in abundance, have helped put America at the top of the pack in oil and gas production.

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