The Obama and the Democrats have killed off 7.9 million jobs. It’s increasingly likely that many will never come back.
The government jobs report issued Friday shows that businesses have slowed their pace of hiring to a relative trickle.
“The job losses during the Great Recession were so off the chart, that even though we’ve gained about 600,000 private sector jobs back, we’ve got nearly 8 million jobs to go,” said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of Economic Cycle Research Institute.
One of the big problems is that many of workers who have lost jobs were in industries that are not likely to recover their former strength.
“We’ve got the wrong people in the wrong place with the wrong skills,” said John Silvia, chief economist with Wells Fargo Securities. He said construction workers in California or Florida and auto workers in Michigan will have to relocate and retrain to find new jobs.
“As many as half the people who lost their jobs will have to find something else to do,” said Silvia.
Home building lost nearly 1 million jobs since the start of 2008, while the auto industry shed 300,000 manufacturing jobs due to plant closings. The finance and real estate sectors lost more than 500,000 jobs.
“Those are the areas with the biggest bubbles, and so it’s not a surprise that those are the areas with some of the biggest job losses,” said Scot Melland, CEO of Dice Holdings, a provider of specialized career web sites. “Many of the jobs we lost are never coming back.”
The nation’s working-age population grows by about 150,000 people a month. So the hole is deeper than it looks.
It would take the creation of 10.6 million jobs immediately for the same percentage of the population to be working as was the case three years ago.
Of course, it will take time to create jobs. If it takes three years, more than 3.5 million additional jobs will be needed because of continued population growth.
The unemployment rate is currently 9.5%. A return to the 4.4% rate is out of reach. The Federal Reserve, in its latest forecast, predicts that unemployment will stay around 7% or above through 2012, and in the 5% to 5.3% range in the long-run.
“The U.S. turned 234 years old yesterday, and yet over half of the nation’s money supply was created since Helicopter Ben took over the flight controls four years ago. No wonder gold is in a full fledged bull market . . .”
-David A. Rosenberg Chief Economist & Strategist
Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc.
Richard Fisher, president of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, has long been a proponent of serious financial sector reform. As a former commercial banker, he sees quite clearly that the legislation now headed into “reconciliation” between House and Senate versions amounts to very little. He also knows that pounding away repeatedly on this theme is the best way to influence his colleagues within the Fed and across the policy community more broadly.
He is now taking his game to a new, higher level. Couched in the diplomatic language of senior officials, his speech on June 3 to the SW Graduate School of Banking was both a carefully calibrated assault on the administration’s general “softly, softly” approach to the big banks and a direct refutation of arguments put forward by Larry Summers in particular.
As the title of Mr. Fisher’s speech implies, if the legislation is not real financial reform (and it is not, according to him), then our current policy trajectory amounts to facilitating further rounds of financial dementia.