Comments on: Charts of the day: The rise in structural unemployment A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: lsjogren Wed, 22 Jun 2011 23:00:35 +0000 “America no longer has much work for someone who hasn’t gone to college, but has a strong back and strong muscles and is willing to work hard.”

Unless you’re an illegal alien, in which case you are one of the Chosen People.

By the way, America no longer has much work for people in a lot of white collar professions as well.

By: lsjogren Wed, 22 Jun 2011 22:58:24 +0000 Clearly the problem is, as Krugman says, inadequate demand.

Take a country like Bangladesh. Clearly they are poor because they stubbornly refuse to buy SUVs, washing machines, and laptop computers.

By: sinz541 Wed, 22 Jun 2011 21:15:00 +0000 Here is where the structural unemployment is:

While manufacturing output has remained fairly constant at around 14% of GDP, manufacturing *employment* has collapsed, from 33% of the work force 50 years ago to only 10% today.

The reason? Automation.

The assembly lines that turn out computer chips and circuit boards are automated, with robots doing the work.

America no longer has much work for someone who hasn’t gone to college, but has a strong back and strong muscles and is willing to work hard. Today, machines do that kind of work.

By: statusquobuster Wed, 22 Jun 2011 20:41:40 +0000 Don’t just follow the money, follow the logic. Demand alone will not work to fix US economy. Consider that top 5% account for an amazing 36% of consumer spending; they clearly are doing just fine. Can the bottom 95% really boost spending enough to repair economy?? No way. For a better understanding of what is wrong with the US read this article on the two capitalisms: o_Capitalisms.html

By: TFF Wed, 22 Jun 2011 16:53:11 +0000 Seconding midpointman, much of our EMPLOYMENT over the past decade was in useless paper-shuffling positions. People were selling, financing, refinancing, appraising, brokering, securitizing…. All to keep the real estate bubble growing. None of them were doing anything useful.

Strip that segment out of the employment picture and we’ve had a structural unemployment problem for a while.

By: midpointman Wed, 22 Jun 2011 00:21:55 +0000 Krugman’s comment is simply wrong. Who can deny that the unemployment problem today is largely confined to several industries: Manufacturing and Construction?

For all of Krugman’s pointless bleating, if demand shot through the roof we would still have a huge glut of homes on the real estate market. It won’t help those workers one bit, especially if they are not trained to do work in services or retail or some other demand-driven industry.

If demand takes off tomorrow, it will benefit Chinese manufacturing workers substantially more than US manufacturing workers. Again, these workers simply do not have jobs to go back to. There is no employer that is waiting until demand returns to hire them back. Those plants are closed and those jobs are gone.

Workers in these industries have a skills gap–a mismatch between what the economy needs and what they can offer. Meanwhile, we have a huge shortage of trained knowledge workers with math and problem-solving skills.

Unless and until these workers get new skills, they are unemployed for the forseeable future, even if demand returns.

BTW, GDP is higher than it was at the peak of 2008. Yet we are doing it with 7 million fewer workers.

What does that tell you? Those workers have skills we really did not, or do not need anymore.

By: SteveHamlin Tue, 21 Jun 2011 14:22:32 +0000 Krugman on structural unemployment: “But don’t bother asking for evidence that justifies this bleak view (that structural unemployment is a problem). There isn’t any. On the contrary, all the facts suggest that high unemployment in America is the result of inadequate demand — full stop….In other words, structural unemployment is a fake problem, which mainly serves as an excuse for not pursuing real solutions.” on/27krugman.html

See also Dean Baker: -the-press/robert-samuelson-calls-attent ion-to-the-incompetent-management-proble m

By: FifthDecade Tue, 21 Jun 2011 02:08:55 +0000 So long as politicians such as Senators and Representatives are sponsored and supported by rich corporations, and those same rich corporations make stuff in China or Viet Nam, nobody with any power will care much about the structural unemployment rate or look after those blighted by being a member of it.

By: RZ0 Tue, 21 Jun 2011 00:44:47 +0000 The paper seems to assume that a rise in the stock price within an industry should be accompanied by a rise in the employment rate in that industry.
Do I have to go on?

By: politicalcalcs Mon, 20 Jun 2011 22:41:37 +0000 Here’s where the largest portion of the structural change in U.S unemployment is to be found:

Much of the remaining portion of the structural change in U.S. employment since 2006 is to be found at or below the minimum wage line: