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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 7, 2009 / 18 Elul 5769

Bad Future for Jobs?

By Robert J. Samuelson




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The first Labor Day, held in New York City in 1882, was less a celebration of the dignity of work than a demonstration in favor of the eight-hour day, down from the prevailing 10 to 12 hours. Compared with then, American workers have come a long way. Congress made Labor Day a national holiday in 1894, and over the years it evolved into a day off rather than a moment to reflect on the state of labor, broadly defined and extending beyond unions. Well, not this year.


It's the bleakest Labor Day since at least the early 1980s (unemployment in September 1982: 10.1 percent). With the unemployment rate at 9.7 percent in August and expected to go higher, cheery news is scarce. The Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank, has painted a statistical portrait of today's labor market. Here are some lowlights:


  • Since the recession's start in December 2007, the number of lost payroll jobs totals 6.9 million. A third of today's jobless have been unemployed more than six months, almost double the share a year ago and a post-World War II high.

  • Wage growth has slowed dramatically. In the first half of 2007, all private wages and salaries rose at an annual rate of 3.7 percent; in the first half of 2009, the increase was 1.3 percent.

  • The unemployment and "underemployment" rate is 16.8 percent — this includes the officially unemployed plus all part-time workers who'd prefer full-time jobs, as well as discouraged and demoralized job-seekers who have stopped looking for work.


Job anxiety has also increased sharply, according to opinion surveys compiled by Karlyn Bowman of the conservative American Enterprise Institute. A Gallup poll in August found that 31 percent of workers worried about being laid off, up from 15 percent a year earlier; 32 percent thought their wages might be cut, up from 16 percent; and 46 percent feared fringe benefits might be reduced, up from 27 percent.


What's most ominous is not today's job market; it's the outlook. After the 1981-82 recession, unemployment dropped steadily from an annual average of 9.7 percent in 1982 to 7.5 percent in 1984 and 5.5 percent in 1988. The descent this time is expected to be much slower. In 2014, the unemployment rate will still average 7.6 percent, forecasts IHS Global Insight, which predicts a peak of 10 percent early next year. Reducing unemployment requires an economic expansion fast enough to absorb today's jobless plus the natural growth of the labor force. Most forecasters expect a tepid recovery will only gradually dent unemployment, despite slowing labor force growth.


"The 1982 recession was largely caused by the desire to break the back of inflation," says economist Nigel Gault of IHS. "Once the [Federal Reserve] was comfortable it had broken inflation, it lowered interest rates, and economic growth took off." Interest-sensitive sectors — autos and housing — propelled recovery. By contrast, today's slump results from financial crisis, Gault says. The Fed has already cut interest rates, which will probably go up. As overborrowed households repay debt, their spending will be sluggish. The weak recovery then retards new jobs.


The implications of prolonged high unemployment — should it materialize — haven't been fully explored. People without work don't acquire on-the-job skills. Young college graduates are already having trouble getting work. High unemployment could depress wage gains for years. It could foster protectionism and long-term poverty. "In a tight economy like the late 1990s, firms are more willing to take chances on more disadvantaged workers," says Harvard economist Larry Katz. EPI's Lawrence Mishel thinks that the effects on low-income families would be devastating; the child poverty rate could jump from 18 percent in 2007 to 27 percent, he says.


Of course, today's bleak economic forecasts could be wrong — just as upbeat forecasts before the financial crisis were wrong. Some economists are warming to greater optimism. "Global manufacturers cut output too deeply," says David Hensley of JPMorgan Chase. "People thought we might be headed into another Depression." Here and abroad, he says, companies are reversing previous cutbacks. "Businesses overshot. They'll snap back [in hiring]; that will fuel consumer spending." One good omen: In August, an index of online job vacancies rose 5 percent, reports the Conference Board.


Job creation has been a historic strength of the American economy. Its capacity to remain so will increasingly frame the economic debate: between those who want more government and those who want less; between those who fear budget deficits and those who favor more economic "stimulus"; between those who see meager wage gains as impeding recovery and those who see them as encouraging hiring. On Labor Day 2009, future jobs are the nation's gigantic question mark.

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Comment on Robert J. Samuelson's column by clicking here.


08/24/09: A Rail Boondoggle, Moving at High
08/10/09: Championing the Status Quo
08/03/09: We'll remain in denial, prisoners of wishful thinking, until the fateful reckoning arrives in the unimagined future
07/27/09: Obama's misleading medicine
07/13/09: Americans' self-indulgence hurts us
07/06/09: Economists out to lunch
06/29/09: Panics ‘R’ Us!
06/08/09: Flirting with deflation or inflation? Now the economy might be at risk of both
05/25/09: A ‘crisis’ America needs
05/18/09: Will somebody finally say that Obama is irresponsibly mortgaging our future?
05/04/09: The Bias Against Oil And Gas
04/27/09: Environmentalists maximize the dangers of global warming while pretending we can conquer it at virtually no cost
04/20/09: Our Depression Obsession
03/23/09: Geithner treads a line between financial paralysis and populist resentment
03/23/09: American Capitalism Besieged
01/06/09: The limits of pump priming
12/29/08: Humbled By Our Ignorance
07/31/08: The homeownership obsession
07/24/08: A Depression? Hardly
07/17/08: Why isn't globalization making the interconnected world more stable?



© 2009, WPWG

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