White House to a few big companies: sign a ‘pledge’ to hire unemployed people

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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One of President Barack Obama’s top White House advisers is urging top corporate executives to sign a “pledge” not to discriminate against hiring the long-term unemployed.

The gambit comes in the wake of a miserable December jobs report, which showed that the U.S. economy added only 74,000 people to the employment rolls.

Senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett reportedly contacted chief executives from companies including Bank of America to sign a “pledge” stating that they “are committed to inclusive hiring practices and pledge to remove barriers” for the long-term unemployed.

Bank of America, which lent $15 million to Obama’s 2012 campaign, and Dow Chemical, whose CEO Andrew Liveris has been described as Obama’s “right-hand man when it comes to advanced manufacturing,” confirmed that they signed Jarrett’s vague and ultimately non-enforceable pledge. The White House will hold an event Friday highlighting the pledge, which is expected to be signed by at least six other companies.

It is unclear how many people these eight companies are actually going to hire in the year 2014.

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