WASHINGTON - As new weekly jobs numbers emerged Thursday showing a jump in unemployment claims and a report released the previous day showed the economy shrinking in late 2012, President Obama is effectively laying off his jobs council.
The layoff -- which comes in the form of the administration not renewing the council, which sunsets Thursday -- takes off the table a first-term panel set up to field ideas from the business community for spurring growth. But the administration was accused all along of never taking full advantage of the group at a time when the economy desperately needed those ideas.
The council itself, a group of business and labor leaders, hasn't met officially in more than a year. The group was tasked with making recommendations to Obama to help create jobs, but the 26 members only met four times in two years.
As the council expires Thursday with no plans to extend it, House Speaker John Boehner's office panned the president's alleged disinterest in the group.
"To understand the abysmal nature of our economic recovery, look no further than the president's disinterest in learning lessons from actual job creators," spokesman Brendan Buck said. "Whether ignoring the group or rejecting its recommendations, the president treated his Jobs Council as more of a nuisance than a vehicle to spur job creation."
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