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Obama launches new push for US jobs, tapping GE's Immelt to help

The economy is 'not growing fast enough yet,' Obama acknowledged Friday, speaking to GE workers in Schenectady, N.Y. Will GE's CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, prove to be his guide to building a more competitive America?

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President Barack Obama and GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt visit the birthplace of the General Electric Co., in Schenectady, N.Y., to showcase a new GE deal with India and to announce a restructured presidential advisory board Friday.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP/File

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President Obama on Friday called for a new effort to put the economy into job-creation "overdrive," naming General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt to head an advisory panel on the issue.

Neither the president nor Mr. Immelt can claim to hold any magic formula for jobs, but the move does appear to bolster one key White House goal: mending frayed relations with corporate America.

The selection of Immelt, one of America's most prominent chief executive officers, comes after Mr. Obama has convened a CEO summit, pledged a looser regulatory hand, and made other moves designed to persuade employers that they should start hiring and investing in the US again.

"The economy is in a different place" than two years ago, Obama told workers at a GE plant in Schenectady, N.Y. But, though the economy is again growing after a deep recession, the president acknowledged that "it's not growing fast enough yet."

Faster private-sector job creation holds the key to bringing down unemployment and restoring paychecks to about 8 million Americans whose jobs disappeared during the recession.

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