By Ellie Smeal, Feminist Majority Foundation

The president’s job plan would have a positive impact on women’s jobs, woman-owned small businesses and small- to medium-sized non-profits. It also includes payroll tax savings for some 78 million employed women and an extension of unemployment insurance for those out of work, who include some 2.6 million unemployed women.

Many of the proposals for job creation, job retention, job training and tax breaks for which women’s groups have been advocating are included in President Obama’s jobs plan. For example, we have been urging bold steps to prevent teachers’, social workers’ and nurse’s layoffs. Moreover, we have worked to make sure non-profits, which employ many women, be included wherever possible in any tax breaks. The president’s plan addresses these concerns.

If enacted, the president’s plan would prevent about 280,000 teachers’ layoffs. Women comprise about 78 percent of elementary and secondary school teachers.

Some 900,000 women-owned small businesses and numerous non-profit organizations whose workforces are largely comprised of women would benefit from a 50 percent cut in employer’s payroll taxes. This tax cut, tailored to favor small businesses and small non-profits, would only apply to the first $5 million of an employer’s payroll. Moreover, small businesses would be given tax cuts for hiring new employees.

The president’s proposal also includes:

  • some $25 billion for modernizing and refurbishing about 35,000 public schools—or about 1/3 of our nation’s public schools
  • $5 billion in modernizing community colleges whose faculty and student bodies are comprised mostly of women
  • $15 billion in refurbishing hundreds of thousands foreclosed homes and businesses.
  • $50 billion for highway, mass transit, passenger rail, and aviation projects.

Also in these construction and building projects is $50 million in 2012 to “enhance employment and job training opportunities for minorities, women, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals…” Moreover, throughout the proposal are reforms to increase access to federal contracts for minority- and women-owned businesses.

Cover of Ms. magazine Winter 2009. All rights reserved.

This blog is part of the #HERvotes blog carnival. Read more HERvotes posts by Ms. and other women’s groups.

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