January 11, 2014
HOW DO THEY KNOW?:
No Jobs, No Benefits, and Lousy Pay (THE EDITORIAL BOARD, JAN. 10, 2014)
The report showed that average monthly job growth in 2013 was 182,000, basically unchanged from 2012. Even the decline in the jobless rate last month, from 7 percent in November to 6.7 percent, was a sign of weakness: It mainly reflects a shrinking labor force -- not new hiring -- as the share of workers employed or looking for work fell to the lowest level since 1978. That's a tragic waste of human capital. It would be comforting to ascribe the dwindling labor force mainly to retirements or other long-term changes, but most of the decline is due to weak job opportunities and weak labor demand since the Great Recession.
We can't know whether that human capital is being wasted until we know what folks are doing with that time. If they're homemaking, busy at church and in the community, volunteering at school and after-school, etc. then it's obviously not wasted. Indeed, the waste came in the form of the jobs they were doing that the Great Recession demonstrated were nothing but boondoggles.
Posted by Orrin Judd at January 11, 2014 9:32 AM