Monday, October 15, 2012

A More Important Deficit: The Jobs Deficit

Yes, the jobs scene is getting better. But it's obviously not back where it should be yet, and for more than one reason.

From "Closing America’s Jobs Deficit", Laura Tyson reports that
"Public-sector demand has also contracted, owing to state and local governments’ deteriorating budgets. As a result, public employment, which usually rises during recoveries, has been a major contributor to high unemployment during the last three years. Despite a modest uptick in the last three months, government employment is 569,000 below its June 2009 level – a 30-year low as a share of the adult civilian population. According to Hamilton Project calculations, if this share were at its 1980-2012 average of about 9.6% (it was actually higher between 2001 and 2007), there would be about 1.4 million more public-sector jobs and the unemployment rate would be around 6.9%."
This may not be stunning news to those of us who've already been lamenting that aspect of layoffs stunting our recovery, but it's certainly worth highlighting again ... especially that we would have an unemployment rate somewhere around a full point lower if it weren't for the public sector layoffs. Obviously, if it weren't for contractionary fiscal policy (govt budget cuts), we'd have a far better employment situation.

And what is a certain party calling for? More contractionary fiscal policy.

Tyson also note some interesting points about the jobs that are out there, the differences in unemployment for those with less education versus those with more education, and that:
"... recent study by McKinsey suggests that the gaps in educational opportunity and attainment by income impose the equivalent of a permanent recession of 3-5% of GDP on the US economy."

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