Welcome to TrendWatch, a new weekly video series in which Inc.com editors examine the latest small-business regulations, economic forecasts, fundraising opportunities, innovative ideas, and product launches in conversations with small-business experts, owners, advisors, professors, and economists.

To start, we cover President Barack Obama's jobs plan--financial details of which he'll outline today--in an interview with our first TrendWatch guest, Robert Litan, vice president of Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation. 

You’ve heard the basics. Obama intends for the American Jobs Act to offer a variety of measures, including payroll tax cuts, changes to unemployment benefits, and increased funds to schools, to hopefully spur U.S. job growth. Of course, much of the legislation's potential to create jobs still rests with how much of it survives the Congressional debate. Litan points out crucial job-growth incentives Obama has left out entirely. Like what? Watch the video to find out.

In TrendWatch Facts & Figures, we round-up key points about the American Jobs Act and small-business hiring:

  • Under Obama's plan, any business that hires a long-term unemployed worker would receive a $4,000 tax credit.
  • The Obama plan would extend unemployment benefits up to 99 weeks.
  • The tax breaks are temporary.
  • According to a recent Pepperdine University study, 41 percent of small businesses say they will hire within the next six months.
  • Obama plans to raise the majority of the cash needed to finance the bill by raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans.