Archive for Friday, May 14, 2010

Jobs lost in recession may not return

May 14, 2010


— Fewer construction workers will be needed. Don’t expect as many interior designers or advertising copywriters, either. Retailers will get by with leaner staffs.

The economy is strengthening. But unlike in past recessions, jobs in the beleaguered manufacturing sector aren’t the only ones likely lost forever. What sets the Great Recession apart is the variety of jobs that may not return.

That helps explain why economists think it will take at least five years for the economy to regain the 8.2 million jobs wiped out by the recession — longer than in any other recovery since World War II.

Even as the economy strengthens, more Americans could face years out of work. The percentage of the labor force unemployed for six months or longer is 4.3 percent. That’s the highest rate on records dating to 1948.

Behind the trend are the cutbacks businesses made to make up for a loss of customers. They found ways to produce the same level of goods or services with fewer workers. Automation, global competition and technological efficiencies helped solidify the trend.

Diminished home equity and investment accounts have made shoppers more cautious, too. And their frugality could endure well into the recovery. That’s why fewer retail workers, among others, will likely be needed.

Among those whose former jobs may be gone for good are:

• Julie Weber of Milwaukee, who designed office cubicles for nearly seven years. She lost her job about a year ago. Since then, she’s been able to find only part-time work outside her field.

• Erik Proulx, 38, a former advertising copywriter in Boston, who finds more companies are turning to social media and viral marketing and are less drawn to agencies that focus on traditional TV and print ad campaigns. Proulx has started a blog to help other unemployed ad professionals network.

• Louis DiFilippo, 30, who decided to study information technology after losing his job managing a gourmet food store in Washington, D.C. After six months of unemployment, he now works on computer network security for the Navy.

More than one-third of chief financial officers at 620 big companies surveyed in March by Duke University and CFO magazine said they didn’t expect to restore their payrolls to pre-recession levels for at least three years. Nearly all cited higher productivity and tepid consumer spending.

Productivity grew at an annual rate of 6.3 percent in the year ending in March, the Labor Department said this month. It was the largest increase in 48 years, though most economists think that pace isn’t sustainable.

In the long run, more productive workers raise standards of living: Companies can pay more without inflating prices. But in the short run, high productivity delays hiring.

Many economists say eventually, companies won’t be able to squeeze any more work out of their employees. That would force employers to step up hiring.

But Janet Yellen, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, cautions that this won’t happen anytime soon. “We may be in store for ... high productivity growth for some time,” she said in a speech this year. “If so, the rate of job creation will be frustratingly slow.”


Richard Heckler 8 years, 1 month ago

This news has been around for quite sometime. SOOO how can the recession/depression be over.

Millions upon millions upon millions of white collar jobs are on the way to India which is why so many millions of jobs will NOT be back. White collars joining the blue collars.

Think about it USA jobs have been the USA chief export since the inception of the world economy. Corp america receives a tax break meaning no tax on profits made abroad. Corp america would rather support the governments of China,Pakistan,India and Mexico.

What good does it do to buy products that are ameican in name only. They are NOT supporting america or the workers who made corp america very very very wealthy?

Where can one shop for american made products? Try used goods stores such as antique stores BUT check the labels there as well.

tomatogrower 8 years, 1 month ago

They have given them tax breaks, over and over. How about we tax their profits abroad, but give them a break if they bring jobs back. They bring back 1,000 jobs they get a 5% tax break. 5% for every 1,000 jobs they bring back

JHOK32 8 years, 1 month ago

What this recession should be called is the Bush recession. A Bush recession is where you have robbed the middle class of the majority of their jobs, their homes, their health insurance, their retirements, all so a very privileged few can become billionaires instead of millionaires. This is what the Republican "free market" or "trickle down" "theories" get for us. It has been a devastating lesson to learn, I hope we will never forget. Our new President is slowly turning things around, but all he has to work with are a few sticks & stones that survived the massive tornado that totally ruined our economy (unless of course you are in the "very privileged" category, then you can go buy yourself another million dollar vacation home).

Maddy Griffin 8 years, 1 month ago

By giving tax breaks to the upper 2% and making all of the rest of us pay for everything.

jhwk2008 8 years, 1 month ago

Why do you hate America? I hope you'd give up your US citizenship as well, because as a US citizen, you pay taxes on worldwide income.

Truthspeaker 8 years, 1 month ago

Get real. This mythical attitude of "I should do detriment to myself and my business just because other people want a piece of mean to 'help fellow Americans' " is nonsense.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 1 month ago

Breweries and ammunition plants are running extra shifts.

BigAl 8 years, 1 month ago

Tom, I saw that O'Reilly episode also. I just don't know why Fox continues to keep Morris on as a plitical contributor. And why do they introduce him as a former Clinton advisor but never mention that Clinton fired him? Fair and Balanced? When he talked about the R's taking back the house and the senate he kept saying "we". Again, fair and balanced. I think the R's will pick up a lot but not to the extent that Morris is ranting about.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 1 month ago

Think about it. In the past 30 years the repub tea party has been in involved two major home loan scandals that effectively took the USA economy down the tubes. One is too damn many but twice represents repub economic policy. Wreckanomics is a failed economic policy. In fact wreckanomics is beginning to smell like well planned crimes.

The republican tea party have become masters at putting millions upon millions upon millions of people out of work. AND stealing taxpayers retirement plans along the way.

What Tea Party Repubs do with a remarkable degree of consistency is wreck the economy,initiate huge movements of shipping jobs abroad aka the Reagan-Bush Global Economy and try to wreck social security and medicare.

Is there a definite pattern? Absolutely!

  1. The Reagan/ Bush Home Loan Scandal

  1. The Bush/Cheney Home Loan Scandal

Richard Heckler 8 years, 1 month ago

Neil, George Jr., George Sr., and Jeb Bush

The Savings and Loan industry had been experiencing major problems through the late 60s and 70s due to rising inflation and rising interest rates. Because of this there was a move in the 1970s to replace the role of S&L institutions with banks.

In the early 1980s, under Reagan, regulatory changes took place that gave the S&L industry new powers and for the first time in history measures were taken to increase the profitability of S&Ls at the expense of promoting home ownership.

A history of the S&L situation can be found here:

What is important to note about the S&L scandal is that it was the largest theft in the history of the world and US tax payers are who was robbed.

The problems occurred in the Savings and Loan industry as they relate to theft because the industry was deregulated under the Reagan/Bush administration and restrictions were eased on the industry so much that abuse and misuse of funds became easy, rampant, and went unchecked.

Additional facts on the Savings and Loan Scandal can be found here:

There are several ways in which the Bush family plays into the Savings and Loan scandal, which involves not only many members of the Bush family but also many other politicians that are still in office and still part of the Bush Jr. administration today. Jeb Bush, George Bush Sr., and his son Neil Bush have all been implicated in the Savings and Loan Scandal, which cost American tax payers over $1.4 TRILLION dollars (note that this is about one quarter of our national debt).

Between 1981 and 1989, when George Bush finally announced that there was a Savings and Loan Crisis to the world, the Reagan/Bush administration worked to cover up Savings and Loan problems by reducing the number and depth of examinations required of S&Ls as well as attacking political opponents who were sounding early alarms about the S&L industry. Industry insiders were aware of significant S&L problems as early 1986 that they felt would require a bailout. This information was kept from the media until after Bush had won the 1988 elections.

Jeb Bush defaulted on a $4.56 million loan from Broward Federal Savings in Sunrise, Florida. After federal regulators closed the S&L, the office building that Jeb used the $4.56 million to finance was reappraised by the regulators at $500,000, which Bush and his partners paid. The taxpayers had to pay back the remaining 4 million plus dollars.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 1 month ago

Woo hoo! Reagan link sighting! Haven't seen that one in at least two days. Way to go, merrill.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 1 month ago

Neil Bush was the most widely targeted member of the Bush family by the press in the S&L scandal. Neil became director of Silverado Savings and Loan at the age of 30 in 1985. Three years later the institution was belly up at a cost of $1.6 billion to tax payers to bail out.

The basic actions of Neil Bush in the S&L scandal are as follows:

Neil received a $100,000 "loan" from Ken Good, of Good International, with no obligation to pay any of the money back.

Good was a large shareholder in JNB Explorations, Neil Bush's oil-exploration company.

Neil failed to disclose this conflict-of-interest when loans were given to Good from Silverado, because the money was to be used in joint venture with his own JNB. This was in essence giving himself a loan from Silverado through a third party.

Neil then helped Silverado S&L approve Good International for a $900,000 line of credit.

Good defaulted on a total $32 million in loans from Silverado.

During this time Neil Bush did not disclose that $3 million of the $32 million that Good was defaulting on was actually for investment in JNB, his own company.

Good subsequently raised Bush's JNB salary from $75,000 to $125,000 and granted him a $22,500 bonus.

Neil Bush maintained that he did not see how this constituted a conflict of interest.

Neil approved $106 million in Silverado loans to another JNB investor, Bill Walters.

Neil also never formally disclosed his relationship with Walters and Walters also defaulted on his loans, all $106 million of them.

Neil Bush was charged with criminal wrongdoing in the case and ended up paying $50,000 to settle out of court. The chief of Silverado S&L was sentenced to 3.5 years in jail for pleading guilty to $8.7 million in theft. (Keep in mind that you can get more jail time for holding up a gas station for $50.)

Today Neil Bush is working on closing a deal in Florida, where his brother Jeb is governor, to sell a software package to schools with his startup company Ignite.

Update 11/28/2003: Some of Neil Bush's business deals have been exposed in his recent divorce case. For more on this see:

It should also be noted that shortly after news of Neil Bush’s involvement in the S&L scandal hit the press his father, George Bush Sr., announced the Desert Storm campaign in Iraq, which subsequently had the result of making Neil’s name quickly fade from the headlines. In addition, while Neil Bush's divorce proceeding were exposing more backroom Bush dealings, America was once again bombarded with war propaganda for Operation Iraq Freedom.

Maddy Griffin 8 years, 1 month ago

Which he borrowed from Malcolm X. Where were you when Bush took us into an unnecessary war without the money to pay for it? Or when Bush blew through the surplus Clinton left us with and ran us into debt?

whats_going_on 8 years, 1 month ago

I'd be interested to see where you got that information, if you'd post a link I'd appreciate it.

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