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Obama picks Krueger to replace Goolsbee as top economist

Alan Krueger, Obama's choice for top White House economist, is expected to provide expertise on bringing down unemployment and repairing the economy if confirmed by the Senate.

Obama top economist 08 29 2011Enlarge
Alan Krueger smiles while shaking hands with U.S. President Barack Obama after he nominated Krueger to be the next chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers August 29, 2011 at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC. Krueger, if confirmed by the Senate, would serve as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, and succeed Austan Goolsbee who left the administration to return to academia in Chicago. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama has picked Princeton labor economist Alan Krueger to succeed Austan Goolsbee as top White House economist.

If confirmed by the Senate, Krueger is expected to provide expertise on bringing down unemployment as the Obama administration seeks to boost the economy ahead of the 2012 election, the Associated Press says.

Goolsbee, the previous chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and one of Obama's longest-serving advisers, left earlier this month to return to his teaching post at the University of Chicago, Reuters reports.

Obama's announcement of Krueger as his choice for top economist rounds out the president's economic team, and comes a week ahead of a much-anticipated announcement on a new jobs initiative.

Obama is under mounting pressure to focus on jobs and the economy, and is to offer a jobs plan next week, Reuters says.

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"As one of this country's leading economists, Alan has been a key voice on a vast array of economic issues for more than two decades," Obama said Monday in a statement, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"Alan understands the difficult challenges our country faces, and I have confidence that he will help us meet those challenges as one of the leaders on my economic team," he said.

Krueger previously served as assistant Treasury secretary for economic policy during the first two years of the Obama administration, and went through the Senate confirmation process for that job.

He also served as chief economist for the Department of Labor under Bill Clinton, and at Princeton was a regular contributor to the Economic Scene column in The New York Times.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/110829/obama-economy-team-alan-krueger-top-economist-austan-goolsbee