WH econ adviser: Job market is really bad
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.)