WASHINGTON — The government should spend at least $900 million to retrain the victims of massive industrial layoffs caused by foreign competition and a changing domestic economy, an advisory panel said today.
While the group of 21 business, labor and academic leaders agreed on most issues, it could not agree on how to fund the program. A previous draft report recommended a new payroll tax, but the final version recommended the use of "general (tax) revenues."
Its members also could not agree on the sticky issue of whether to require companies to give notice before factory shutdowns.
"The permanent displacement of some jobs is an inevitable consequence of a dynamic world economy," the panel said. "Plant closings and permanent layoffs can reflect the strategic flexibility needed to keep the U.S. economy competitive and growing."