As part of our series “A Rooseveltian Second Term Agenda,” a reminder that creating more good jobs must be the president’s top priority.
The presidential victory of Barack Obama was an important vindication for the uses of government. The small-government ideologues were defeated, but now the nation must go farther and recognize government is indeed a job creator.
Let’s begin with the harsh facts: Neither policymakers nor the media fully understand or communicate that America has a jobs emergency. In his victory speech last Tuesday, President Obama did not even cite job creation as one of his four main goals for the new term. Not only is unemployment high, but wages are stagnant and poverty is rising in an economic recovery. The evidence on the creation of low-wage jobs rather than high-wage jobs is almost frightening; the Roosevelt Institute’s own Annette Bernhardt has been a leader on this.
Our mainstream economists are not of much help. Many, though not all, are loathe to blame globalization for low wages in America. We hear almost nothing from them regarding Wall Street’s role in wage suppression, although American business was obsessed with creating rising short-term profits to appease Wall Street, which rewarded such consistency with high stock prices. Add to this the pressures of LBOs, privatizations, and hostile takeover threats. Little is discussed of the role of the Federal Reserve in maintaining a tight monetary policy until the late 1990s, in my view suppressing wages as an objective. Finally, almost nothing is heard of the benefits of adequate demand, except in the current crisis, in creating productivity growth over the long run, even as China and Japan have clearly suffered secularly from a lack of demand.
All of these mainstream economists warmly support the view that skill-biased technology is the main cause of stagnating wages. But such technologies cannot explain the runaway of incomes at the top. Nor can they explain the lesser inequality in Europe, which is also subject to technological change.
In my view, we need a very aggressive, jobs-related agenda…
Choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor from
via Next New Deal.
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The labor market has added nearly 5 million jobs since the post-Great Recession low in Feb. 2010. Because of the historic job loss of the Great Recession, however, the labor market still has 3.8 million fewer jobs than it had before the recession began in Dec. 2007. Furthermore, because the potential labor force grows as … Continue reading »
The extensive Job Gap as tremendous impact. According to the 2012 of the ILO report on Global Employment Trends(GET), the world facesa Global Job Gap of 600 million jobs. The Brookings’ Hamilton Project “updates America’s job gap, the number of jobs that the U.S. economy needs to create in order to return to pre-recession employment levels while absorbing the 125,000 … Continue reading »
” The recovery is real, but it’s still really far from the recovery we need” writes Matthew O’Brien in The Scariest Jobs Chart, Private Sector Edition. (Choosen excerpts by JMM to follow) That’s been the consistent message of the past three years, with consistent job growth that hasn’t been near enough to end our jobs crisis much … Continue reading »
Almost nine million people in the European Union were considered “underemployed” in 2011, according to new Eurostat figures. These numbers add to the growing ranks of nearly 25 million unemployed in the EU, highlighting a ticking social time-bomb. Some 42 million workers in the EU were employed part-time in 2011, according to a survey by … Continue reading »
EVER since the deep recession hit four years ago, many colleges have been rethinking their continuing education programs, straining to figure out how best to help the many unemployed Americans who have looked to them as a lifeline. With the unemployment rate still stubbornly high, this rethinking has led to a powerful trend in which … Continue reading »
An Interview with ILO Economist Sara Elder
The current weak economic recovery will keep unemployment rates in OECD countries high until at least the end of 2013, according to a new OECD report. The Employment Outlook 2012 says that the OECD-wide joblessness rate is forecast to remain high at 7.7% in the fourth quarter of 2013, close to the 7.9% rate in May … Continue reading »
Faced with a jobs crisis, policymakers the world over are digging deep into their policy toolkits to generate more employment. A recent study by the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department argues that reforms of tax and expenditure policies offer great promise in helping countries confront the jobs crisis, including in the short term. The study argues … Continue reading »
U.S. jobs growth may have picked up earlier this year, offering the millions of unemployed hope that better days are ahead. But once again, the government’s monthly unemployment report comes with disappointing news. In April, the nation’s employers created 115,000 positions, after adding 154,000 in March, the Labor Department reported Friday. This was less than … Continue reading »
Job Gap is extending and has entered a new, more structural phase as austerity prevails says ILO who calls for a Global Job Pact
The World of Work Report 2012 provides a comprehensive analysis of recent labour market and social trends, assesses risks of social unrest and presents employment projections for the next five years. The report emphasizes that while employment has begun to recover slowly, job quality is deteriorating and there is a growing sense of unfairness. Moreover, … Continue reading »
The neglect of credit and debt in economic theory continues to produce muddled policy thinking. Take the tendency to protect banks lock, stock and barrel, at huge costs. The mantra is that if we let banks go bankrupt, that will ruin the economy. This is a nifty inversion of the truth: it is precisely the … Continue reading »