IT workers who've been unemployed for more than six months may benefit from the job creation plan President Barack Obama unveiled last night in a speech to Congress.
If passed, the American Jobs Act would provide employers with a $4,000 tax credit for hiring someone who's been unemployed for more than six months.
"We have to do more to help the long-term unemployed in their search for work," Obama told Congress.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than six million Americans make up the long-term unemployed—that is, those who have been jobless for 27 weeks or more.
IT workers who are veterans would also benefit from Obama's job creation plan, which proposes a $5,600 tax credit for companies that hire unemployed vets. Employers that hire veterans with a service-related disability would be eligible for a $9,600 tax credit under Obama's plan. According to the President's speech, 877,000 vets are currently unemployed and looking for work.
"We ask these men and women to leave their careers, leave their families, risk their lives to fight for our country. The last thing they should have to do is fight for a job when they come home," the President announced to wide applause.
To further promote hiring, the American Jobs Act would provide an additional tax cut to any business that hires new employees or increases existing employees' wages. To stimulate the economy, payroll taxes would be cut in half for every working American and every small business so that people have more money in their checks on payday.
While Obama's job creation plan didn't specifically address America's high-tech workforce, he discussed the need for additional legislation that, if passed, would have a direct impact on IT workers.
Specifically, the President expressed his desire to "cut the red tape that prevents startups from raising capital and going public." The many tech companies filing for IPOs would certainly benefit from such legislation, which would ultimately lead to the creation of a greater number of IT jobs more quickly.
Obama also wants to see reforms passed that would "speed up the outdated patent process so that entrepreneurs can turn a new idea into a new business as quickly as possible." In 2010, it took an average of nearly 35 months to obtain a patent, according to the President's speech.
Finally, the President noted two initiatives created by his Jobs Council that are currently under way: an effort to train 10,000 engineers each year and tuition coverage for workers who seek training at community colleges.
Obama addressed outsourcing and offshoring in an oblique manner, without using those actual terms. He talked about the importance of reforming the corporate tax code and closing loopholes that would lower corporate tax rates, so that American companies have more incentive to "keep jobs in America."
What do you think of Obama's job creation plan?