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Citing Progress, White House Disbands Jobs Council

The White House said today that it would not extend the term of its jobs council, a group of high-profile executives tapped for advice on how to improve the country's jobs situation.

The AP explains that the council was formed in January 2011 with a sunset date of January 31, 2013. Reuters reports that an official said Obama would allow the jobs council to disband, adding that the administration had made progress on some of the council's recommendations.

The AP adds:

"Officials said the president always intended for the council to fulfill its mission and then wind down, and said Obama would continue to actively engage and seek input from business leaders about ways to accelerate job-creation and economic growth. Among the steps Obama plans to pursue are expedited permits for infrastructure projects, plus programs to boost entrepreneurship and workforce development.

"Even before it was clear whether Obama would renew the jobs council, Republicans seized on its likely expiration as evidence the president has devoted insufficient attention to creating jobs, which polling shows remains a top priority for Americans. The Republican National Committee dubbed it part of 'the failed Obama record,' while the House Republicans' campaign committee, in an online petition, accused Obama of laying off his own jobs council."

When Obama created the council, unemployment was about 9 percent. Today, it is at 7.8 percent.

Economic growth, however, has been sluggish. Wednesday, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said that for the first time in three years, the country's GDP shrank at a 0.1 percent annual rate.

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is scheduled to release employment numbers for January.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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