Increasing the Cost of Low-Skilled Labor Does Not Create Jobs

The Presidential election is over but we are still subjected to misinformation about US jobs being taken offshore.  The straight truth is that some US jobs were lost due to lower wages for foreign labor, but a larger portion of US manufacturing jobs lost were lost due to automation and productivity here in the US.  […]

When Creative Destruction Strikes Near Home

Each month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports on new jobs, unemployment and other measures about the labor force.  At least 200,000 new jobs per month are needed to keep pace with labor force growth.  But that paints an incomplete picture.  The quality of jobs created and lost each month matters a lot.  Well-paying […]

What’s Behind Declining Labor Force Participation?

Since employment declined dramatically in 2008, there has been acute interest in the so-called labor force “participation rate.” When employment began climbing out of the Great Recession trough in 2010, that progress seemed to be sabotaged by troubling decreases in the rate. Many questioned aloud why American workers were leaving the labor force. A cluster […]

Energy as an Economic Stimulus

Energy production is booming in some western states, like North Dakota, where its unemployment rate has fallen below 2%, and fracking has made the potential for gas extraction a promising proposition.  Yet, many major projects, like the Keystone pipeline and development in parts of the Marcellus Shale Field remain in limbo as lawyers, activists and […]

One-in-Seven Segments That Should Concern Us

While researching the near term US economy, a picture of isolated American consumers began to emerge.  Along five dimensions, one-in-seven consumers face unenviable circumstances or have made unfortunate choices.  While they are not the same one-seventh of the population in each category, they are likely to have significant overlap.  One-in-seven is loosely considered here as […]

Training to Adapt

May 2012’s 8.2% unemployment rate dampens hopes for the 14 million US consumers looking for work.  Some jobseekers are new to the marketplace, some are there due to decreases in sales, and some are displaced by offshoring-outsourcing or technological changes.  Retraining may lead to employment for some, but efficacy for displaced workers looks poor, so […]

The Leadership, Focus, and Time For Recovery

The US GDP is growing too slowly to create enough jobs to tame 9.1 percent unemployment.  New business formations have traditionally been a major source of job creation, but since 2007 formations have been 20% below normal or 1.8 million jobs short of normal pace.  McKinsey estimates 21 million jobs need to be created by […]