Great news: Working population percentage drops to three-decade low

posted at 12:15 pm on April 14, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Maybe we can call this Generation U — for unemployed.  Three decades ago, the US experienced a dramatic shift in culture and economics as women entered the workforce in record numbers, and our economy expanded to meet the labor supply.  As USA Today reports, we have now returned to the same working percentage of the population as we had at the beginning of the expansion, an astonishing decline that doesn’t appear to be slowing much:

The share of the population that is working fell to its lowest level last year since women started entering the workforce in large numbers three decades ago, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

Only 45.4% of Americans had jobs in 2010, the lowest rate since 1983 and down from a peak of 49.3% in 2000. Last year, just 66.8% of men had jobs, the lowest on record.

The bad economy, an aging population and a plateau in women working are contributing to changes that pose serious challenges for financing the nation’s social programs.

There are two pressures on the structure of the social programs, both at crisis stages.  The first is the rising number of those eligible for benefits.  When programs like Social Security and Medicare first began, most Americans weren’t expected to live long enough to draw benefits for more than a couple of years.  In the fifty years since Medicare began, we have lowered the age of eligibility and massively expanded benefits.  Not only do we have more people entering the system thanks to the Baby Boom of the postwar years, but thanks to better health, they’re staying in the program for at least fifteen years at a time.

Meanwhile, population growth has slowed in the eighty years since the start of Social Security and fifty since Medicare.  Instead of having worker-to-enrollee ratios of 16-1, we’re rapidly approaching 2-1, which turns the entitlement structure into a teetering Ponzi scheme.  The only corrective to that would be to have constant job creation and increasing percentages of workers in the population.  Instead, we’re declining there as well, and that means that we should be seeing record numbers of Americans on the federal dole.

And we are:

One in six Americans is receiving help from the government, just as fiscal austerity threatens to reduce some of that aid.

Soaring unemployment during The Great Recession has driven tens of millions of people to the dole. Enrollment in Medicaid and food stamp programs are at record highs, while unemployment insurance rolls remain at elevated levels. Many people depend on more than one program. …

The number of people in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as food stamps, hit a record 44.2 million in January. That’s up 4.7 million from the prior year. …

More than 8.4 million people are collecting either state or federal jobless benefits. While enrollment is down from its peak of 12 million early last year, it is still more than double the number it was when the recession began in late 2007.

These programs sap even more resources that might go to extending the life of the retirement entitlement programs that are creaking toward collapse.

Jim Geraghty points out the irony of Barack Obama giving a lecture about “social compacts” being the greatness of America:

Who’s really changing the America we’ve known in our lifetimes? Since 1950, we’ve had unemployment above 8 percent exactly twice, in the mid-70s and early 1980s. Both were milder than the current recession, and both ended with economic booms. Instead, under this president, we’ve spent trillions and we still limp along, told to celebrate every time unemployment drops a tenth of a percentage point, as more Americans endure foreclosure rates, a “scorched” housing market and more require government assistance. As noted earlier, we’re in an era ofmuch higher state and local taxes. The era of $4 to $5 per gallon gas will eat up a lot of those ever-scarcer discretionary dollars this summer; yet another year of Americans cutting back on their summer vacations.

“Changing the basic social compact”, Mr. President? Look around you when you’re on your way to your next top-dollar fundraiser with NBA stars, lobster Hors d’oeurvres, seared maine diver sea scallops and rosemary braised short ribs. American life is already changing; you and your policies have ushered in the New Era of Diminished Expectations.

In order to reverse this trend, we need to put more people back to work and completely restructure entitlements, and not necessarily in that order.


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“Mommy, Whats a Job?”

“It’s something people used to have a long, long time ago.”

portlandon on April 14, 2011 at 12:17 PM

A lot of the ‘Non – working’ population is in the employ of the government.

Colbyjack on April 14, 2011 at 12:18 PM

What kills me is how the democratics ask -if corporate profits are so high, why aren’t those companies hiring? They seem to want to believe that profits = hiring. That’s almost as bad as the undocumented president’s ‘profits and earnings ratio’.

slickwillie2001 on April 14, 2011 at 12:19 PM

We are all Europe now.

Tres triste.

PattyJ on April 14, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Wow. Lowest since Reagan.

crr6 on April 14, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Instead, under this president, we’ve spent trillions and we still limp along, told to celebrate every time unemployment drops a tenth of a percentage point, as more Americans endure foreclosure rates, a “scorched” housing market and more require government assistance.

Judge the president by the fruit that he produces. A faltering economy, a ravished housing market, expansive entitlements and demagogic speeches. Everywhere you turn–rotten to the left, rotten to the right, everything around this man is rotten to the core.

ted c on April 14, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Who is John Galt?

turfmann on April 14, 2011 at 12:21 PM

The unemployment rate for those <25yrs old is north of 25% +/-. That's probably true for struggling law grads as well who get kicked off their corner…These people are not going to know what it is like to actually work and support a family. It's destruction, willful destruction.

ted c on April 14, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Mission accomplished, Obutthead!

How proud he and Michelle must be. I know…they should throw a party!!!

*sigh*

capejasmine on April 14, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Don’t they usually use the excuse for terrorist that they are over educated and under employed? Seems like there is plenty to do around here to me. Idle hands…….

Cindy Munford on April 14, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Wow. Lowest since Reagan.

crr6 on April 14, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Amazing the jobs Reagan created, that Carter destroyed….isn’t it?!!! ;)

capejasmine on April 14, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Unexpected.

MassVictim on April 14, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Wow. Lowest since Reagan.
crr6 on April 14, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Reagan’s first year in office was Carter’s last fiscal year, Skippette. Reagan’s first budget didn’t come into law until 1982, which we wouldn’t get the first effects of until 1983, as you can see by any study pf the unemployment rate which begins its downward slide after that.

kingsjester on April 14, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Wow. Lowest since Reagan.

crr6 on April 14, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Carter, actually. Under Reagan, this changed.

catmman on April 14, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Our son has been trying to find a job for about a year with no luck. He’s gone in for a couple of interviews but with no job experience no one is hiring him. So we’re hoping when he goes off to college he can work on the campus of find a job in the bigger town.

Brat4life on April 14, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Its a good thing the unemployment rate keeps dropping, though.

Wait…

catmman on April 14, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Heck of a job, Barry.

stenwin77 on April 14, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Wow. Lowest since Reagan.

crr6 on April 14, 2011 at 12:19 PM

I just LOL’ed quite hard

so ridiculous

blatantblue on April 14, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Barack Obama said government entitlements make America great

Ben Hur on April 14, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Wow. Lowest since Reagan.

crr6 on April 14, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Exactly.

Carter drove the rate down to abysmal levels. Reagan came in and the rate increased for 25 years. Then Obama came in and drove the rate right back down to Carter levels.

A non-partisan hack would conclude that Carter and Obama are bad for employment.

A partisan hack wouldn’t.

angryed on April 14, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Only 45.4% of Americans had jobs in 2010?

Well I guess that explains the disparity in polling when asking about budget cuts.

The moochers out number the contributors. I think the least the government can do is give the list of names of who I am supporting along with my tax bill.

Just A Grunt on April 14, 2011 at 12:36 PM

$800 billion stimulus package FTW!

nickj116 on April 14, 2011 at 12:37 PM

blatantblue on April 14, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Ronnie was no further into his first term than Barry is into his, so, by Barry’s rules, it’s the lowest since Dhimmuh, because Ronnie inherited the mess, too.

Make the Alinskywallas play by their own rules, too! Heh.

Christien on April 14, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Only 45% of Americans work. Which means 55% of Americans are ready to become life long Democrats expecting a check in the mail from Uncle Barrack every month.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

angryed on April 14, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Wow. Lowest since Reagan.

crr6 on April 14, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Obviously, American history is not your long suit.

GrannyDee on April 14, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Christien on April 14, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Their knowledge of history is sooo…..

…..its just a heartache.

blatantblue on April 14, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Exactly.

Carter drove the rate down to abysmal levels. Reagan came in and the rate increased for 25 years. Then Obama came in and drove the rate right back down to Carter levels.

A non-partisan hack would conclude that Carter and Obama are bad for employment.

A partisan hack wouldn’t.

angryed on April 14, 2011 at 12:35 PM

LOL. Think very carefully about what you just wrote.

crr6 on April 14, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Which means 55% of Americans are ready to become life long Democrats expecting a check in the mail from Uncle Barrack every month.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

angryed on April 14, 2011 at 12:37 PM

That is not the America that I know. Fighting back is the American way. You are mr. doom and gloom lately.

VegasRick on April 14, 2011 at 12:43 PM

All of you suffering under this regime are stupid for taking advantage of your entitlements such as jobs, homes, and cars.

/Count to 10

fossten on April 14, 2011 at 12:45 PM

If you think this is bad, wait until Obama is re-elected.

Atlas will shrug then for sure…

Bruno Strozek on April 14, 2011 at 12:45 PM

LOL. Think very carefully about what you just wrote.

crr6 on April 14, 2011 at 12:42 PM

I thought carefully about it, and I agree – you’re a partisan hack.

fossten on April 14, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Only 45% of Americans work. Which means 55% of Americans are ready to become life long Democrats expecting a check in the mail from Uncle Barrack every month.

I’d like to see the number of women who are homemakers. I’m included in this total even though my husband works and we don’t get any government aid. It might not be *quite* as bad as the raw numbers make it seem.

Vera on April 14, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Maybe we can call this Generation U — for unemployed.

Shouldn’t that be Generation F – for funemployed?

WTF

ornery_independent on April 14, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Only 45.4% of Americans have jobs. Only 47% pay federal income tax. We have reached the tipping point where more are dependent on government care than are contributing to pay for its cost. I have no problem pulling the wagon for those who truly need help, but the load will soon grow too heavy.

publiuspen on April 14, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Only 45.4% of Americans had jobs in 2010?

Well I guess that explains the disparity in polling when asking about budget cuts.

The moochers out number the contributors. I think the least the government can do is give the list of names of who I am supporting along with my tax bill.

Just A Grunt on April 14, 2011 at 12:36 PM

This isn’t exactly accurate. That number includes full-time students, stay-at-home moms, etc. Workforce participation isn’t the best measurement of unemployment.

Caiwyn on April 14, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Vera on April 14, 2011 at 12:46 PM

You are correct. The report is based on the whole population of America. So 300 million people and less then 150 million actually working. This includes every man, woman, child and possibly illegal alien. I would like to see figures just for those eligible to work, but everybody toys with those numbers so much there is no way to decipher the true figures.

Just A Grunt on April 14, 2011 at 12:53 PM

I thought carefully about it, and I agree – you’re a partisan hack.

fossten on April 14, 2011 at 12:46 PM

I think it’s a monkey see monkey do thing. Being pompous, arrogant, and condescending allegedly works for Obutthead(even though we know it doesn’t) but some people honestly think it works for them as well. Sad…isn’t it?

capejasmine on April 14, 2011 at 12:53 PM

No matter the bad news, little turds will never allow Barry to be the blame… Or even part of the problem. At some point Barry owns this economy. Being fair… starting right after the stim money started being wasted.
-
So we are well into the Obama deficit spending and loss of jobs cycle by now. crr.6 can pretend otherwise all day. It is just pillow-biting for Barry now.
-
Damn, I keep trying to remember to work in that Barry loves high gas prices…
-

RalphyBoy on April 14, 2011 at 12:55 PM

If you think this is bad, wait until Obama is re-elected.

Atlas will shrug then for sure…

So will the bond markets.

Mike Honcho on April 14, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Wow. Lowest since Reagan.

crr6 on April 14, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Except Reagan turned it around.

Chuck Schick on April 14, 2011 at 12:57 PM

I’ll repeat my Headline quote here:

Welcome to the Unemployment Gulag.

Line up for your subsistence script, food stamps…and your shovel.

Welcome to the ‘New Amerika’.

CPT. Charles on April 14, 2011 at 12:58 PM

crr6 on April 14, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Oh, did someone drive over your bridge and wake you up, troll? I don’t see how if you are in a ‘top’ law school you even have time to read this blog, let alone comment. Every lawyer I know (and they didn’t go to ‘top’ law schools. Just University of Missouri Law School) didn’t have time for anything but studying. And toward the end of the semester, we didn’t even know they existed until after finals. I guess that ‘top’ online law school gives you enough time to slack off and make false statements that just simply shows your lack of intelligence, because only a complete idiot would come onto a conservative blog and try to insult Reagan. I use the word try here, because that was a good an attempt as 0bama trying to give a speech without his TOTUS.

Or to put it in the modern internet vernacular…

FAIL.

Wolftech on April 14, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Wow. Lowest since Reagan.

crr6 on April 14, 2011 at 12:19 PM

You really should see your doctor and schedule a cranial rectal extraction…

Khun Joe on April 14, 2011 at 1:13 PM

So we’re hoping when he goes off to college he can work on the campus of find a job in the bigger town.

His biggest problem will be that what were traditionally teenage and college age jobs now go to illegals. So no one will hire him anyway because he’ll have to be making more than fifteen cents an hour and pay taxes.

crazy_legs on April 14, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Wow. Lowest since Reagan.

crr6 on April 14, 2011 at 12:19 PM

22 million jobs were created during Reagan’s 2 terms. So even someone as braindead as yourself knows that Reagan’s America circa 1988 was a vastly different place than in 1983 once his economic plan had been fully enacted.

Doughboy on April 14, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Did Obamao offer us all gubmint cheese yesterday? I think I nodded off during the speech.

ornery_independent on April 14, 2011 at 1:20 PM

crr6 on April 14, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Don’t you have enough scars?

tinkerthinker on April 14, 2011 at 1:21 PM

LOL. Think very carefully about what you just wrote.

crr6 on April 14, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Oh please brilliant law student, explain to me where I’m wrong.

angryed on April 14, 2011 at 1:25 PM

That is not the America that I know. Fighting back is the American way. You are mr. doom and gloom lately.

VegasRick on April 14, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Sorry man. It may or may not be the America you know. But it is the America that exists today. When only 45% of the population works, the other 55% doesn’t work. And unless that 55% is finding money on trees, they’re getting money from the govt in one form or another. And once someone gets a monthly check from the govt, they usually don’t stop getting that monthly check and tend to vote Democrat.

angryed on April 14, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Only 45% of Americans work. Which means 55% of Americans are ready to become life long Democrats expecting a check in the mail from Uncle Barrack every month.

Don’t paint all of us with a broad brush. I’m out of work and collecting through no fault of my own (my former company laid off my entire team and is in the process of closing my office), and I have been having a heck of a time trying to find any job. The interviews I do get wind up coming down to me and another candidate, but because so many people are out of work employers can get that perfect candidate, the ones who have all the “must haves” (which I do, for any job I apply for), and also have all the “nice to haves” (which often times I don’t, and in better times would make no difference in my ability to get the job, but since there someone getting laid off right now who has all those “nice to have” skills, I’m SOL).

So believe me, I (and many others who are out of work or have recently returned to work) know up-close and personal the disaster this administration and the Democrat policies since 2007 have been for this country.

So for those 55% who you cite as “ready to become life-long Democrats,” why don’t you decerease that by at least the “official” unemployment rate of 9.8%, or better yet the real unemployment level of approximately 20%. Trust me, people out of work don’t want to stay on unemployment longer than they have to.

crazy_legs on April 14, 2011 at 1:28 PM

So for those 55% who you cite as “ready to become life-long Democrats,” why don’t you decerease that by at least the “official” unemployment rate of 9.8%, or better yet the real unemployment level of approximately 20%. Trust me, people out of work don’t want to stay on unemployment longer than they have to.

crazy_legs on April 14, 2011 at 1:28 PM

There is empirical research that shows a person’s likelihood to get off of welfare decreases exponentially the longer that person is on welfare.

I’m not saying everyone out of work will be out of work forever. But with each passing day that one is out of work, the likelihood of never working again increases.

And IMO this is part of Obama’s plan. It has to be. Nobody who would want an improving economy could possibly take the actions he has taken. Nobody could cause this much destruction by accident.

angryed on April 14, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Oh please brilliant law student, explain to me where I’m wrong.

angryed on April 14, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Did you at least try to think about it? I like to see if you guys can make the connections yourself, before I tell you the correct answer.

crr6 on April 14, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Who is John Galt?

turfmann on April 14, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Son of Mr & Mrs. :D

ColdWarrior57 on April 14, 2011 at 1:46 PM

crazy_legs on April 14, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Any chance your skills can translate into self-employment?

publiuspen on April 14, 2011 at 1:49 PM

I’ve thought about it some more crr6.

Carter: 45% employment
Reagan: More than 45% employment
Obama: 45% employment

Nope. Still the same answer. Carter’s policies led to low levels of employment. Regana’s policies led to high levels of employment. Obama’s policies brought us right back to Carter levels.

Sorry hun, still don’t see how you can spin this one in favor of the Bammer.

angryed on April 14, 2011 at 1:59 PM

I’m not saying everyone out of work will be out of work forever. But with each passing day that one is out of work, the likelihood of never working again increases.

Again, you’re painting with too broad of a brush. During the dot-com recession there were technology professionals who were out of work for years, plural. I, at one point, was out for nearly a year and a half. And then I got a job that I stayed at for 7 years (the one I was laid off from in January, FWIW).

Maybe someone who lives in subsidized housing and makes nearly as much in unemployment and other government hand outs will stay on the dole, but someone used to pulling down high five figures/low six figures is not going to stay out of work and will start working again as quickly as humanly possible, especially if they have a mortgage to pay and a family to support.

And then you also have to take into consideration what other people have already said – of those 55%, how many are under 18? How many are full-time college students? How many are stay-at-home moms? So along with bringing that percentage down by the unemplyment rate, bring it down by at least another 30% to cover all those other contingencies. Because college students, kids under 18, and stay-at-home moms are never going to be counted among the “working population.” Even in good times these numbers can be messaged to look completely horrible.

And IMO this is part of Obama’s plan. It has to be. Nobody who would want an improving economy could possibly take the actions he has taken. Nobody could cause this much destruction by accident.

On this we agree, however I would hesitate to call it Giggles’ plan. My reading of Giggles is that he’s not bright at all (hey, where are those college transcripts?). Not smart enough to come up with a plan like this. No, his handlers – Soros, Ayers, etc – are the ones with the plan. They just happened to stumble across an empty suit who was dumb enough to buy what they were selling, and who also happened to be black enough and just charasmatic enough for guilty white liberals to fall for their BS.

crazy_legs on April 14, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Any chance your skills can translate into self-employment?

Possibly. It’s something I’ve been thinking about.

crazy_legs on April 14, 2011 at 2:04 PM

crr6 on April 14, 2011 at 1:45 PM

In otherwords, you have no clue, and wikipedia isn’t providing you with the ample answers you seek.

capejasmine on April 14, 2011 at 2:06 PM

I would hesitate to call it Giggles’ plan. My reading of Giggles is that he’s not bright at all (hey, where are those college transcripts?). Not smart enough to come up with a plan like this. No, his handlers – Soros, Ayers, etc – are the ones with the plan. They just happened to stumble across an empty suit who was dumb enough to buy what they were selling, and who also happened to be black enough and just charasmatic enough for guilty white liberals to fall for their BS.

crazy_legs on April 14, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Fair enough. When I say Obama’s plan, I really mean the left’s plan. If it’s Soros or Obama or Alynski who comes up with the exxekution (don’t want a nasty word to get the filters involved), doesn’t really matter. They all share the same goals.

As to your other point….yes I know. You’re right. There are millions of people who are unemployed and will be employed again. No argument whatsoever from me.

However, with each cycle of high long term unemployment, there are fewer people who come back. And those people become wards of the state. And at some point there will be (or maybe already are) more of them than of us. And when that happens, the whole system will collapse.

To me 45% of the population supporting the other 55% is past the tipping point.

angryed on April 14, 2011 at 2:11 PM

crazy_legs on April 14, 2011 at 2:04 PM

It is scary at times, but you are then in more control of your future.

publiuspen on April 14, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Food stamp recipients = up
Social Security benefit recipients = up
Cost and scope of Medicare benefits = up
Life span of federal dependents = up
Unemployment insurance recipients = up
Federal employment numbers = up
Federal pay and benefits = up
Interest on federal debt = up
Number of workers contributing to Social Security = down
Number of workers paying payroll taxes = down

We’re Greeced.

Cicero43 on April 14, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Ed – Perhaps we need a Hot Air job hook up board?

publiuspen on April 14, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Solid B+

the_souse on April 14, 2011 at 2:20 PM

As Barack Obama was delivering his speech on the nation’s long-term debt crisis, word came that JP Morgan has radically downgraded its projection of the nation’s short-term prospects for economic growth. Morgan now thinks the economy will grow at an annual rate of 1.4 percent this year. This comes hard on the heels of Macroeconomic Advisers lowering its growth projection for 2011 from 4 percent at the beginning of the year to 1.7 percent today.

These aren’t just horrible numbers for the U.S. economy. They are a potential death knell for Barack Obama’s presidency. There is no way tepid growth of this sort is going to make a dent in the nation’s overall employment numbers—and it stands to reason that if unemployment is higher at the time of the 2012 election than it was when he took office in 2009 (7.6 percent), he is exceedingly unlikely to win a second term.

Schadenfreude on April 14, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Win the Future!!!!! Wait…what?

SPGuy on April 14, 2011 at 3:01 PM

didn’t have time for anything but studying. And toward the end of the semester, we didn’t even know they existed until after finals.
Wolftech on April 14, 2011 at 1:01 PM

That’s sorta how I recall my college experience when I was taking all of my upper level sciences & maths, etc.
I did have a LOT of time on my hands, however, when i was taking Education classes.

Badger40 on April 14, 2011 at 3:16 PM

In otherwords, you have no clue, and wikipedia isn’t providing you with the ample answers you seek.

capejasmine on April 14, 2011 at 2:06 PM

LMAO! +100

Just wait. I’m sure that we’re all wrong & we will soon be enlightened.

Badger40 on April 14, 2011 at 3:16 PM

However, with each cycle of high long term unemployment, there are fewer people who come back. And those people become wards of the state. And at some point there will be (or maybe already are) more of them than of us. And when that happens, the whole system will collapse.

I reluctantly agree with you on that. It is scary what the Left is up to. All of their actions say that they want us to melt down into a banana republic.

To me 45% of the population supporting the other 55% is past the tipping point.

But again, what portion of that 45% are being supported by the State and what portion are being supported by their families, i.e. stay-at-home moms and kids not out of school (whether that’s HS or college). I agree that the numbers are scary, no matter how you slice it, but I don’t think they’re apocolyptic just yet, and there’s time to fix things once Giggles is booted out of office and a) people start going back to work, and b) we stop spending money we don’t have. But that means we really only have until November of 2012. If Giggles is reelected we’re done.

crazy_legs on April 14, 2011 at 3:37 PM

If you think jobs are scarce now, wait until Obama is re-elected and we will all wish Jimmy Carter was back.The incompetence and corruption of this administration is the worst in our country’s history. The non-stop lies are becoming nauseating.

volsense on April 14, 2011 at 4:01 PM

angryed on April 14, 2011 at 2:11 PM

So those 99′ers are increasingly being conflated with multigenerational welfare recipients? Not surprising, since it makes them an easy political target. The problem with that, is that many people used to the idea of working are out of work.

The extended use of fixed-term employment is like putting a bandage on a wound that won’t clot. When we see less of that, and more permanent forms of work, then there is a recovery. The more legal dodging I see with hiring, the more Europe-style nonrecovery is in place.

Making people more desperate for lesser work is not the answer. Getting the growth and certainty in place so that even the 99′ers are hired is the answer.

sethstorm on April 14, 2011 at 4:15 PM

If you think jobs are scarce now, wait until Obama is re-elected and we will all wish Jimmy Carter was back.The incompetence and corruption of this administration is the worst in our country’s history. The non-stop lies are becoming nauseating.

volsense on April 14, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Some guy on Fox News just said “if Carter led to Reagan, imagine what a fantastic president Obama will lead us to.”

We can hope.

slickwillie2001 on April 14, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Wow. Lowest since Reagan.

crr6 on April 14, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Since the beginning of his first term, only to improve once he got into office. Not sure why you’re bragging on him though.

Esthier on April 14, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Esthier on April 14, 2011 at 5:27 PM

She just dropped by for a hit & run.

Badger40 on April 14, 2011 at 5:33 PM

She just dropped by for a hit & run.

Badger40 on April 14, 2011 at 5:33 PM

Yeah, where she was apparently trying to explain how we’re all stupid or something? I just can’t even care anymore.

Esthier on April 14, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Crr you are a joke.

CWforFreedom on April 14, 2011 at 5:59 PM

“I don’t care. Obama is awesome.”

Django on April 14, 2011 at 6:11 PM

I have no problem pulling the wagon for those who truly need help, but the load will soon grow too heavy.

publiuspen on April 14, 2011 at 12:50 PM

I’ve always said I have no problems giving someone a hand up but don’t expect a piggyback ride.

VikingGoneWild on April 14, 2011 at 8:15 PM

There’s one problem, Ed. Put the US workers back into what kind of jobs? Look at the Daishin helmet video and ask yourself “doing what?” The conversion of a block of aluminum into a highly styled motorcycle helmet took zero man hours for execution. It took many hours of creative effort by one or two people. With that effort you could produce as many helmets as you want. Even if the blocks of aluminum had to be hand placed one human could service 50 of those 5 axis CNC machines. And each helmet could have different flourishes if the software were doctored a little.

Do we have to take a step back from our push towards automation and involve people more? Will it be better than the Chinese assembly lines?

I wish I had an answer because I don’t like to sound like a Luddite. I enjoy and celebrate technology for its own sake. When facing these unemployment numbers I still must ask, “Are we staring at the inevitable future?” I hope not. And I hope somebody more imaginative as well as technically grounded than I can do some thinking. IMAO this is the elephant in the room everybody is ignoring.

{^_^}

herself on April 15, 2011 at 4:42 AM

Now, now, everyone…I thought it was clear that math was not crr6′s strong point.

Spring 2011 – 30 years = Spring 1981.

crr6, if someone is elected President in November, they don’t take office immediately. They are inaugerated the following January.

Since Reagan was elected in November 1980, he took office January 1981, meaning he was only in office a few months (based on this data).

And since the Federal fiscal year begins each October, he was forced to administer Carter and Dem’s economic policies (Dems controlled BOTH houses then, BTW, so any serious economic changes would have to go through them).

Now, see how easy that is? Next lesson will be to help you find the PRINT button on your copier, since you’re about to become one of those ‘smart’ lawyers I always have assist in their Search for the Green Button. M’k?

Miss_Anthrope on April 15, 2011 at 2:54 PM