WH econ adviser: Job market is really bad

October 20, 2009

Listened to an interesting talk today by Jared Bernstein, chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden, at a New America think-tank conference on job creation. A few observations:

1) If Bernstein’s talk was any indication, don’t look for much public celebration by the White House if we get some good 3Q and 4Q GDP numbers. As he put it, “Absent robust job growth, it is not a true economic recovery.” He stressed this point several times. I don’t even think you will hear an administration official use the word “recovery” in 2009.

2)  Bernstein trotted out several interesting slides — which I am hoping to get hold of — that displayed the severity of the job market’s woes. It really seems like the big problem is not so much layoffs as it is a lack of hiring. Thus the high numbers of long-term unemployed.

3)  He didn’t hint at much appetite for the grander second stimulus ideas like a job investment tax credit. (CBO would probably score such a plan as costing $75 billion a year or so, according to an earlier speaker.)


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Why should corporations hire when they can move jobs offshore, and or have an implicit threat that people currently employed should work harder / longer (without extra pay) or else join the unemployed ranks? Supply and demand of workers.

This is why productivity is shooting up; businesses see they can do more with less… why bother hiring? Profits are rebounding – no need to slow that down with actual humans siphoning off cash for work.

What is the next great job creation mechanism? All we have is government and hopes of a new housing bubble or something else. What is going to create 5M jobs except for federal reserve money printing?

Posted by TraderMark | Report as abusive

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Nice. The American citizen is the engine that drives our economy and they put all of the gas in the trunk. None of the money is where it should be. No corporation ever needed a bail out. It was the citizen that should have been guarded from financial danger, not the corporations or the banks.

But the leaders we elected to serve the INTERESTS OF THE CITIZEN instead chose to serve the interest of the business sector. And this they do under flimsy excuse that it would be “good for the people” to save the sector that has been bleeding the people dry.

They care for profit and interest. They care nothing for your families and loved ones. They care nothing for your future. They only care about money.

Washington is a joke.

Posted by Benny Acosta | Report as abusive