GECON200-Topic #2: Un(der)employment and Job Growth

The average unemployment rate in the U.S. fell to 9.0% in January 2011 even though job growth in the private sector remained sluggish at 36,000 (total). While the job growth numbers are sobering, the unemployment rate has fallen from 9.8% since November 2010. These unemployment numbers are seasonally adjusted meaning that the impact of job hiring over the holidays is factored out. Underemployment takes into account the fact that many workers who would like to be full-time are only able to find part-time work. Underemployment is up to around 17% in January 2011, up from around 9% in December 2007. Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee, recently stated that the unemployment rate in the U.S. will remain high for a long period of time, which many economists believe likely means unemployment rates of 8-9% through 2011 and 2012.

So, where does job growth come from? Primarily private sector jobs are created by firms that expect to be able to make a profit if they hire an additional employee. Public sector job growth must come from state, local, or federal tax revenue dedicated to hiring teachers, police officers, regulators, and many other jobs. Should Congress do something and intervene? Given that the GOP regained the House of Representatives in November 2010, there is little likelihood of another government spending stimulus or further support for states. Instead many expect to see government spending cuts and also tax cuts. However, it should be noted that spending cuts will also lead to job cuts at the federal, state, and local level.

There must be some hope on the horizon. January 2011 showed a rise in manufacturing jobs, but declines in many other categories. However, we have seen long declines in the number of manufacturing jobs. President Obama called on 100,000 new math and science teachers, but state and local governments are cutting spending on education. So, where are the jobs?

Questions you might answer

  • Do you think the problems are understated or overstated by the commentators listed above? Find some alternative evidence.
  • Should we rely on the private sector to do most of the hiring or should the public sector be called on to create new jobs?
  • What jobs are going to be doing the most hiring in the next few years even with sluggish growth? (Give me numbers.) How has education in these fields been progressing throughout the crisis? Are these sectors hiring the “underemployed” now? Do these new hiring sectors provide better wages or better benefits?

35 thoughts on “GECON200-Topic #2: Un(der)employment and Job Growth”

  1. The baby boomers make up almost 1/3 of the American population. As they reach their old age the amount of health care they require increases. According to the bureau of labor statistics, “health care will generate 3.2 million new wage and salary jobs between 2008 and 2018.” This number of jobs is larger than any other industry. The fact that a lot of the jobs in health care only require an associates degree, or on the job experience, only adds to the appeal of these types of jobs. Since a lot of the jobs in health care do not require that much schooling, it is quite easy for an unemployed or underemployed person to reach the requirements and make a decent wage (wages are expected to increase 22% through 2018 (bureau of labor statistics)). On the downside, working in health care does not have any major benefits other than the standard ones such as health insurance. Most jobs in health care are also not unionized. In summation, the fact that a large portion of Americans are reaching old age at this time means that more people need to be employed to help treat them. Since most unemployed people cannot find jobs in the fields for which they have experience, and they can’t afford to spend their time going back to school for years in order to obtain a different job, professions in health care seem to be the most optimal choice for the un/underemployed.

  2. One sign of economic improvement is the rise in household purchases within the past few months. However, this seems to contradict the steady unemployment rate. In fact, the rate of underemployment at a relatively high 17% suggests that small businesses are slowly regaining strength and are thus hiring more and more part-time workers, rather than investing in full-time workers. Thus, despite a lag in full-time employment, more of the population is finding itself with at least some form of income. This is reflected by this past month’s number of applications for unemployment aid, which was at a three-year low of 383,000, the lowest number since July 2008 and well below the peak of 651,000 reached in March of last year ( Nonetheless, the private sector cannot be relied upon to provide all of the relief. The public sector must also contribute to this rise in employment, with increased jobs in fields such as education.
    By far the field with the highest employment rates is engineering. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the expected growth for petroleum engineering over the next eight years is 18%, a level higher than many other fields of employment. This is due to the fact that while we are searching for greener alternative fuels, crude oil and natural gas, which both have lower carbon emissions, will surge in demand as transitional fuels ( This, in turn, should lead to an increase in employment for geologists, heavy constructions, and drilling rig employees. Petroleum engineers also happen to be the highest-paid college graduates, with a starting salary of about $86,220 (

  3. Both the above arguments made a valid statement in the fact that both engineering fields and health care will make for massive increases in employment. Both will account for the creation of millions of jobs in the near to far future. But that’s not the dilemma on hand. The question is where are the jobs in this current day economy? It’s easy to say that because the country is becoming more environmentally aware, there will be an increase in jobs in the engineering/environmental/health sector of the economy, but the fact of the matter is that as a country, we are not at that point yet. We still (sadly) rely on oil, and health care is a good ten years until it starts playing a huge role in our economy. This won’t work because part-time and jobless workers can’t wait that long. Health care and the environment will be looking for skilled workers when it’s the unskilled ones that are left out on the curb. The source of jobs today will come from leisure departments faster than any other sector. This comes from hotels, restaurants, retail, auto manufacturing, etc. Surprisingly, manufacturing alone produced thousands of jobs, including 20,000 in the auto industry. ( This all plays into the fact that now that we are at the tail end of the recession, consumers are starting to spend again, and with spending comes a need to manufacture.
    Now, that we’ve established where the jobs are I would like to point out the public sectors woes. Every sector should be focused on creating jobs, but right now it looks like the private sector is doing a better job than the public sector. Not only is the public sector not creating jobs, they are destroying them. With layoffs in the government by 14,000 this month alone, it’s the private sectors that should be helping them out ( Although they may feel inclined too, I urge congress not to send another billion dollar stimulus for taxpayers to have to pay for. We are in a trillion dollar deficit and with more taxes, people will not spend as much, and that would cut off the recent success that retail and other leisure sectors have had. I suggest that congress wait and trust the stimuluses’ that were sent in the beginning of the Obama administration because with the recent success of autos and manufacturers, it shows that the economy is quickly regaining ground.
    Finally, to touch on underemployment; the first cause of it would be to look at the holiday season. Businesses like UPS hired around 50,000 part-time workers just for the holiday months ( These account for huge numbers of unskilled jobs that only offer a part time work schedule. Also, we obviously have to look at the struggles of the small business. For as long as I’ve been alive the income of the small businesses has proved it to be the backbone of the American economy. With underemployment now at 17% from about 8% when the recession started, it has sounded off an alarm for small business owners that with less profits, part time employees are a much smarter choice than full time ones with the scare of costs, flexible work schedules, and of course if that employee gets sick. (

  4. Under the U.S. Constitution, all legislation concerning government spending must originate in the House of Representatives which is currently under the control of Republicans who hope to drastically cut “more than $32 billion from agency budgets over the next few months” ( Although spending cuts will presumably not be this high because an appropriations bill must be approved by both the Senate and President, who as Democrats are less inclined to make such steep slashes, the GOP control of the House will nevertheless result in decreased government spending. As a result, job growth will most likely decrease in the public sector. However, the private sector offers more hope for creating new jobs. Currently the underemployment rate is 17.3% ( compared to the unemployment rate of 9%( which means businesses are starting to once again feel confident that hiring workers, on a part time basis, will increase their income. In turn, these newly hired workers are receiving a steady supply of income which they are generally choosing to spend. “This trend is reflected by the 2.4% rise in spending between July and September of last year, the fastest since 2007” ( Increased spending by consumers often results in a higher demand for goods. This entices employers to hire extra workers in order to increase their supply to meet the demand. Although sluggish, increased spending will most likely result in further job creation in the private sector.

  5. To hold a job means that the employee has the skills needed to work or operate in that specific position. According to an article on AOL, it stated “Health-care employers were the most likely to report a skills deficit; 63 percent of HR professionals in large health-care organizations said they have a shortage of qualified workers.” So in the next couple years these jobs that have not filled their payroll with skilled and quality workers will continue to look even though the growth is “sluggish.” Employers need to find the quality workers first and complete the tasks given before the employers can close off hiring new employees. There are seven different fields of jobs that are looking to hire qualified workers. They are transportation, automotive, education, healthcare, engineering, sales and services, and skilled trade. Skills trade is said to be the hardest field of jobs to fill this year. These jobs include plumbers, electricians and etc. In the field of skill trade, employers are trying to attract high school students to this field because it requires trade school but not the four year degree as most jobs require. The education in the automotive field does not require much schooling as for the schooling for education; health care and engineering are a little different. These three fields require a lot more schooling and but the data on states that the higher education, the more money the employee will make monthly and yearly. With these three fields there is the incentive to put the extra time in education and in the future have the outcome of a higher income. Also these fields require a lot of qualification because education is shaping the minds of children; health care can determine the sick’s future and engineers are figuring out new scientific breakthroughs. Also in the article mentioned previously, it states that engineering and health care workers were reaching retirement age. Could this have anything to do with the generation of our parents? According to this article,, the generations of our parents, baby boomers; this generation is said to be the highest educated generation since their time. According to this site,, jobs have different plans for the employees’ salaries, 42% of employers do not plan to change salaries, 44% plan or anticipate an increase in salaries and 3 % plan on a decrease. Since we are this sluggish time, do people feel underemployed? Again, according to the same site, 33% employees feel that they are underemployed and over qualified for their current job. Since they feel that they are underemployed and in the future when the job growth increases, these people will hopefully be employed somewhere where their skills are equal to the job.

  6. The public sector should be called on to create more jobs; a bigger chunk of our tax revenue should go toward creating jobs and improving education instead of paving minor potholes in the roads. “The United States used to lead the world in the number of 25- to 34-year-olds with college degrees. Now it ranks 12th among 36 developed nations,” according to a New York Times article. ( In the Huffington Post’s article on jobs that are in high demand, those such as engineering, most healthcare positions, and teaching (although alternative certification is now available in some states , ( require some form of higher education. In an article under Verizon’s finance section, it includes the fact that Obama also wants to spend $53 billion over the next six years on high-speed rail, which will spur the growth of jobs in engineering and simultaneously provide work for those with degrees as well as those without. (
    However, since government spending and tax cuts are expected to happen and will in turn lead to job cuts in the federal, state, and local governments, it will be difficult to create more employment opportunities in the public sector since they are created from the revenue generated by those levels of government. The private sector should then be enlisted to donate some of their revenue to generate jobs that are most needed if the general public is willing to go out and seize those jobs.

  7. The most efficient way would be for the government to step in to create new jobs in the public sector, simply because it would have the most large-scale/holistic effect. If one state creates new jobs, that’s great, but does it really help many people besides those in that state? However with Republicans hoping to cut more than 20% from the annual budget, or as much as 32 billion dollars, this doesn’t look likely (
    I understand where Mike is coming from with the healthcare argument, but I disagree with his reasoning. The fact that 1/3 of the population is made up of the “baby boomers” who are now retiring and in need of care is a strong argument that that is where the job market is now. And I agree. People are always going to need taken care of and healthcare is always going to be an essential industry, no matter how the economy is. However, that’s not where it is RIGHT now. I don’t agree with the statement that healthcare jobs don’t require “that much schooling”. Maybe if you’re looking into healthcare management or an administration job, but becoming a doctor/nurse/anything related to actually physically taking care of people requires at minimum a college degree, usually more, which is not something you can just earn in a couple of months. Unless you already have at least a college education, getting a job in the healthcare industry is not an easy task ( So while I agree that healthcare is where the jobs are, I think that they’re not going to improve the economy over night or even within a year. It will take years before someone who needs a job today is qualified to fill these jobs. Until then we are going to have to rely on jobs in manufacturing and other industries that really do require less education. Because spending is picking up, these are the jobs that need and can be filled right now.

  8. As we slowly being to climb out of the recession America had dug deeply into the past two years, there are many signs that are beginning to show that obtaining a job in the future may be better than expected. As baby boomers become older and enter into health facilities, it is easy to understand that one of the brightest futures for jobs will be a health career. According to the U.S Labor Department, 13 out of the 20 jobs between the years 2004 and 2014 that look to be the most stable to obtain are of a health career base. ( Now the question of whether the private or public sector should be called on to create more jobs. I feel that the public sector has the greatest opportunity to create jobs the only problem that will arise is where will congress get the money. The Federal government accounts for 25 percent of the GDP, but we look at recovery in terms of private sector growth. ( In August underemployment was set at 18.6 percent, which is only a small increase from 18.4 in late July. ( This shows that a large part of the workforce feels they just cant find a fulltime job. Overall healthcare is in desperate need of jobs, yet the cost of going to get an education for those jobs and become qualified can be seen as a set back. As stated before the easiest way for jobs to be created is simply the public sector congress must find a way to efficiently do this without putting us deeper into debt.

  9. We are currently working are way out of the recession, but the unemployment rate is still an issue. We need to ask ourselves whom we should rely on to create more jobs. Personally I think we should rely on the private sector to do most of the hiring. If we were to rely on the public sector to create more jobs it would be taking away from government funding. Therefore, you can almost guarantee a rise in your taxes since the government doesn’t have the funds to do it. On the other hand, the private sector is the greatest creator of jobs and historically has been the backbone of the U.S. economy. With private sector jobs workers have greater opportunities, better benefits such as pay raises and bonuses, which in contrast, are not as common in public sector jobs. Currently, the unemployment rate is at 17%, up from 9% in December of 2007. This is a sign that small businesses are slowing getting back on their feet and are hiring part time workers in order to save money. If the government would make it easier for small businesses and other private sector jobs to grow faster it could provide the right stimulus for these entrepreneurs’ to hire workers and possibly reduce unemployment rate.

  10. The private sector will not create jobs simply because it will help reduce un(der)employment, it will only create jobs if more employees are needed in order to make greater profits. However, due to the current state of our economy the demand for many goods has fallen, and many workers have been laid off, with unemployment rates reaching up to 10.6%. ( Even people who are not economically threatened may be cautious to spend money; this lack of confidence further contributes to the economic slowdown. Companies also feel the pressure of the recession, hesitant to invest in equipment and hiring workers, and instead holding on to large cash balances ( I believe that one of the most important steps to restore our economic situation, and therefore lower unemployment, is to first rebuild confidence in our economy. This will encourage spending and investment, leading to higher demand and the emergence of more jobs. The government has attempted to do this through the stimulus package and various policies. Policies, such as labor laws and unemployment insurance, passed by the government were intended to prevent layoffs. However, these policies have had unintended consequences; due to globalization many US jobs have been outsourced to places (such as China and India) where labor can be acquired more cheaply with fewer blockades ( This reduces the number of jobs available in the US and in turn raised unemployment rates; this chart shows how drastically outsourcing has increased and “insourcing” has decreased since the beginning of the recession: Instead of attempting to create public jobs and put restrictions on unemployment, I believe the government should attempt to work with the private sector to influence the economy. Through public-private investment partnerships the government can offer companies money for research, development, and expansion while simultaneously requiring them to keep the jobs that are created through these grants in the US. Through technological invention and innovation new jobs will undoubtedly be created. Not only will these new jobs provide a source of income for those unemployed, but they will also contribute to the growth of our economy and nation as a whole. “Invention and innovation have proven to be crucial components for the development of modern societies” (

  11. With our generation’s dependency on technology and computers and its continuing growth, there is no doubt this could be an opportunity to create jobs for people in the future. Since we are also in the midst of this boom in technology now, this helps alleviate the problem of where jobs will come from in the present. As businesses grow, they need to be able to store and analyze increasing amounts of data, which puts people who are skilled in these fields in higher demand. Specifically, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics “Occupations with the largest job growth”, network systems and data communications analysts are predicted to have a 53.36% raise by 2018, and the field of computer network , systems, and database administrators is expected to add 286,600 jobs over that eight year period ( The education suggested for this is a Bachelor’s degree in Science or Computer Science, which is offered at universities and technical schools. However, it is not required, and just having experience in the area of computers and computer science can help someone land a job. This advances job opportunities in this field because there are no strict education requirements, like the jobs in Health Care mentioned above, which can be beneficial for people who are underemployed. Benefits are included in these jobs, along with a salary that ranges from $45,207-$67,544. ( President Obama, in his State of the Union Address, also announced the idea of a National Wireless Initiative, which “would expand wireless coverage to 98% of Americans, while reducing the deficit by nearly $10 billion by making more government spectrum available”. He stated, “it’s how we’ll spark new innovation, new investment, new jobs” ( Complete wireless access allows more opportunities in education, government and local business, which in turn leads to job growth in multiple areas. This is why people with these skills are needed in the present and future.

  12. William Alden’s post, “Employment Won’t Recover To Pre-Crisis Level, SF Fed Say,” states: “The current jobless rate, 9 percent, still elevated from the Great Recession, leaves out many more workers who have given up searching for employment. As business try to do more with less, as workers gradually lose skills and as the available jobs change, the scar of elevated unemployment might never fully fade.” These “many workers” referred to are those who have been searching for jobs to no avail. Whether their resumes are not up to par, they lack the networking in job contacts, or they do not have the skills for a certain job. There are plenty of reasons for a person to become de-motivated and depressed while searching for a job, which ultimately leaves them hopeless as they give up all together looking for a job. Businesses will try to do more with the workers they have, but, in some cases, a business will benefit from hiring more workers to increase production. With an increase in workers, the production numbers rise. However, it is the marginal production value (which eventually decreases with more workers) that businesses look at to see whether it is actually beneficial for them to maintain a certain amount of employees. Therefore, it is up to the employee or the person who is trying to become employed to sell his or herself as a beneficial contributor. In order for a person to be able to sell themselves, they need to know who to talk to (networking), obtain the necessary skills through a form of education, and need to represent themselves as if they were born for the job and no one else could do the job better than they could. Ultimately, the person must persevere in an active and optimistic manner in order to strive forward along with the ever changing jobs. Else they fall behind in the past and are stuck; unable to move forward in the advancing career market.

    Alden, William. (2011, February 15). Employment won’t recover to pre-crisis level, SF Fed says. Retrieved from

  13. As we climb up from the economic recession in it obvious that our economy will be facing some pressing issues. Two of the most common talked about problems are unemployment and underemployment. Recently the unemployment rate has dropped to 9% while the underemployment rate is currently around 17%. The debate that faces Americans and our politicians is who should be in charge of trying to fix these problems, the private sector or the public sector? The private sector is much too complicated to be relied upon to change in order to fix these problems. For example how can you ask a small business to change its part time workers to full time workers when they can barely make a profit? We are forced to rely on the public sector to create jobs until the economy raises enough to allow for more growth in the private sector. One of the fastest growing jobs in the public sector is healthcare; this is due to the large number of baby boomers reaching old age. The growth of this field will create a positive change in our economy and our society because of the education required for a job in this field. ( (

  14. It is incredibly clear that the unemployment rate in the US went from 9.8% to 9.0%, which shows that the economy is moving forward in terms of granting people jobs but again the unemployment rate will probably be at standstill for a while longer. Underemployment on the other hand, went from 9% to 17% because of the former data? Is it a cause and effect situation? At the beginning of each year, or more precisely the year of 2011, a rise in manufacturing jobs rose while a decline in other job categories decreased. But what is confusing is how that caused job growth in the economy in terms of underemployment and just a .8 % rise. The economic crisis has certainly triggered a standstill on the market economy and for that the hiring positions that used to take place might not be taking place for the next couple of years, people who were hired before like international employees might not be granted the chance to apply for jobs or US citizens might apply but might not get as much pay as they used to. With that said, sectors that resorted to hire full time positions might consider hiring only part timers just because of less “expenses”. Others would argue the opposite or even a different spin on the economic recession.;_ylt=AiBf4RMA2VsdXLJYHEeCsEqq3J54

  15. With the unemployment rate soaring at the very high rate of 9% nowadays people are tending to find low wage jobs that may not be sufficient for the increasing living standards in the near future. Although some people may have found jobs in the health care and manufacturing fields, these jobs will not pay enough in future inflation prices. Thus, most people nowadays are going back to school and trying to earn more than one degree so that they are skilled in various areas of interest. Future professional high paying jobs will require these hard earned degrees putting people back in school and opening up the lower paying jobs. Many believe that the private sector will create more of these jobs which is true because most of the high skill required jobs are the ones in the private sector. Future jobs for this generation will be available mainly to high skilled people ( Thus, the low wage earning jobs will remain the same but there will be many new job openings for those who have more skills, especially with all of the increasing technology nowadays. Many people will start to be entrepreneurs with new products/stores to add to the market. Although there may be an increase in manufacturing jobs many people are not trying to spend multiple hours of their day working. As time passes, our living standards also change and thus, these low-paying long hour jobs are not what we really want to have (leaving them open to immigrants from other countries). So the unemployment rate will only increase as a result because those who want a job, may be too picky and not want to work the jobs available. As for the underemployment issue, people with part time jobs who desire to work full-time will need to find other jobs that will hire them full time. This may require them to gain more skills but in the long run, those who do need jobs will find them.

  16. Of course the economy is showing improvement, our country is coming out of a recession. Our economy may be improving but it is nowhere near “good”, and it’s up to both the public sector to create more jobs. Even an increase in part-time jobs helps, though underemployment is currently at 17%. The supply for full-time jobs is huge but the demand simply doesn’t match. It just isn’t economically smart for businesses to hire full-time employees when compared to part-time ( However, this is no surprise when Republicans propose $32 billion in budget cuts ( Budget cuts are no way to improve this economy.

  17. While it would be quite beneficial to all parties if the public sector were to develop and create a wave of new jobs, unfortunately at the moment that seems to be wishful thinking. The immense budget cuts that state and local governments are facing combined with the dwindling money remaining from the Federal stimulus package results in a tough environment for economic growth. In fact, just last month state and local governments cut about 12,000 jobs off of payrolls. According to economist Mark Zandi, “There’s no more serious drag on economic growth than the severe budget cutbacks at the state and local level.” (
    So if the public sector isn’t faring so well, what about the private sector? While a good number of industries in the private sector such as construction and retail show fairly steady growth, they are too prone to fluctuations with the economic and social climate. The health care industry, however, is poised to have the most stable growth for years to come, with about 22,000 health care jobs being added every month for the past few months. As pointed out by other students, the aging baby boomer population in conjunction with the passing of the will require more health care than ever, meaning that demand for the industry will be going strong for the foreseeable future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) predictions for occupations with the largest job growth through 2018, four out of the top ten jobs were in the health care industry (

  18. The economy is steadily improving and we are coming out of the recession. However, the unemployment rate and the number of jobs available is still a major issue that we are facing. Personally, I feel that we should be relying on the private sector to be creating more jobs. If we rely on the public sector that will take away from government spending and cause the government to either increase the deficit even more or take away from another program that doesn’t have the option of being supported by the private sector.
    Not only is unemployment and the number of jobs available an issue, but underemployment is also a huge problem that the United States is facing. The unemployment rate has begun slowly falling, however a majority of those people who have recently become employed are underemployed. According to an article titled “Gallup Poll: How Underemployment Hurts the Economy” Americans that are underemployed are three times more likely to fall behind on their bills and risk bankruptcy than those Americans who are fully employed. It also states that one in four people facing employment problems are dealing with financial difficulties also and one in nine adults say they are dealing with financial difficulties. This is a problem that we need to seriously think about and take immediate action to try and fix the problems that we are facing today. However, I am not sure that the answer is for the public sector to simply try and create more jobs. I fell that the answer to our current dilemma is far more complex than that and is pointing to the private sector to aid in finding a solution.

  19. It seems as if whenever there is an unemployment “crisis” people look toward the government to solve all of their problems. However, if the government decided to step in and create public sector jobs for everyone then that would just increase overall government spending and that is something nobody wants. Therefore I believe the solution to reducing unemployment lies within the private sector. However, there are many jobs to be had in the private sector but not enough people to occupy them. According the Huffington Post article entitled “7 Industries In Need Of Workers NOW: CareerBuilder”, “One-in-five employers (22 percent) reported that, despite an abundant labor pool, they still have positions for which they can’t find qualified candidates,” and “Forty-eight percent of HR managers reported that there was an area of their organization in which they lacked qualified workers.” This goes to show that, although job growth does need to be done in the private sector, people who are looking for jobs also need to be aware of industries that need employees. If an unemployed man or woman notices that industries like the automotive, health care, or education industries are in need of employees, they should do what they can to become qualified to hold a job there.

  20. First, I’m surprised that no one is yet to really argue if weather we think these problems are over or understated…
    I think that especially the January should not be a large concern. As stated in the article from moneywatch.bnet nearly twice as many people from the January average couldn’t get to work, which logically could have prevented people from searching for and finding new jobs as well. And though predictions weren’t fulfilled with total amount of new jobs and the desired percentage of unemployment wasn’t reached, the economy still is moving in the right direction. With a gigantic economic collapse like the recession there is no quick fix but only gradual improvement. Unemployment numbers haven’t moved drastically because of the revival of small businesses whom have generally opted to hire part-time workers of which do not effect the unemployment rate. Though these people aren’t affecting the “numbers” they are being productive citizens and are earning money, which eventually will be put back into the market.
    Though the big names, Obama, Bernanke, and so on aren’t particularly thrilled with job situation I think they are overstating these issues. Rehabilitating a situation this large will take time and with the general positive pattern that has been occurring I think we should be more optimistic about our countries future.

  21. There are some unexpected places in the economy where business is still booming despite tough times. For example, the shoe repair industry is doing considerably well ( The reason for this is that people are having old shoes repaired rather than buying a new pair. Maybe this could serve as a metaphor about where some businesses need to start turning. As to whether or not new hiring should take place in the private sector versus the public sector, there are going to be new government jobs available very soon, but to a limit. More and more federal employees are becoming eligible for retirement, and many are expected to retire within the next five years ( This could lead to at least some new hiring; however there is a bill being presented that will limit federal hiring ( As was stated, it is unlikely that much new hiring in the federal government will take place with a Republican controlled House. It will most likely be the part of the private sector to hire more people. This has its pros and cons. On average, public sector employees make around $40 per hour, while private sector employees make $11 less per hour. This means that if more people are hired in the private sector, they may not have as much money at their disposal as if they were federal employees, but it also means that the government will have an opportunity to make cuts and reduce the deficit. Also, I think that the problems of the economy are for the most part overstated. Of course there is a significant problem with unemployment and underemployment. But remember that at the peak of the Great Depression, unemployment rose to around 25% ( But this meant that 75% of the people were employed. Likewise, under the current economy, the optimist would see the current employment rate at above 90%.

  22. Unemplyoment has been a problem ever since the recession hit the United States. The current unemployment rate is decreasing, but not fast enough in my eyes. I believe the bigger problem here is the underemployment rate that is up around 17%. This means that people who would like to be working a full time job can only find enough work to be working a part time job. For some people, unemployment will not have a substantial effect on their lives because they are not unemployed for a long enough time. On the other hand, some people will experience long term unemployment which will have a great effect on the person economically and psychologically. This typpe of unemployment is coined long term unemployment after six months of unemployment. I believe we must rely on the public sector to get us a lower unemployment rate. After the stimulus bill, we saw an increase in hope by the american people which led to a decrease in unemployment. The government needs to give the private sectors reassurance that we can hire more people which will lead us out of the recession. Some jobs that wiill be in great demand are the fields of science and math educators. Obama said in his state of the union speech that he wants better math and science teachers. I believe in order to increase the supply of these jobs the government will have to give certain benefits such as maybe tax subsidies. These issues of unemployment seem to be understated because everywhere you go you hear about someone’s family member who was layed off and had to accept a job that they are overqualified for. That is not considered in the unemployment rate if people are taking jobs that they are too good for.

  23. The current U.S. economy is stagnant; We are not steadily declining in production nor is the unemployment rate skyrocketing, but we are also showing very little economic improvement. In my opinion, the government has enough of an annual deficit and issues sustaining government spending. Private sector jobs should be left be in hope the slowly declining unemployment rate continues. The government stimulus package of 2008, whether it directly creating sustaining job growth or not, has created a slightly increasing job growth rate over the last year, and is forecasted to continue into 2011. As for the problems being overstated by commentators, I believe the media definitely overstates the issues regarding the U.S. economy. It seems people often forget the media is a business, and the more dramatic the news is, the more money they receive through advertisers because they get more viewers. According to the USA Today, the increasing job growth rate and forecasted continuation of the job growth will continue to slowly drive down the unemployment rate. Congress has enough issues regarding foreign policy and deficit spending to have to continue focus heavily on the private sector job growth. Spending cuts at a very miniscule level are actions Congress needs to take. Taking too much money annually away from government programs could be detrimental to the people relying on those programs, but incremental cuts on spending are absolutely necessary in order to reduce the deficit. Our economy has been floundering in the last few years but it is often overlooked that the United States continues to have the highest production output in the world. Though our economy has shifted to more of a service based economy, the news that manufacturing jobs are increasing are a good sign that the rounded economy of the United States isn’t as pessimistic as we may think.

  24. @Travis Grenier
    I agree that massive budget cuts may not be the smartest way to spark job growth. I would advise congress to hold off on any more cuts until we’re completely out of our recession. Personally, I don’t think we will have to wait much longer to see an increase in jobs again. Recently the S&P has gained massive ground making a new high since 2008. This may definitely create new jobs from corporate success. (

  25. With United States’ unemployment rate continuing to rise, we all must ask ourselves, where are all the jobs? In the 2010 elections, the GOP was able to take control of the House on a platform for job creation (O’Brien, 2011). More than a month since the election, the American citizens continue to ask the same question, where are the jobs? One potential solution to the increasing unemployment rate could reside across the Atlantic Ocean. The United Kingdom has similar economic woes as the United States with their unemployment rate at approximately 7.9% (Price, 2011). In order to address the situation, the United Kingdom passed the Green deal to create not only jobs, but green jobs. The deal would radically overhaul the energy efficiency of small businesses and homes all while creating up to a quarter of a million new jobs (DECC, 2010). With an increase in energy efficiency, the people would save on fuel bills, save carbon and fuel the economic recovery. Why not adopt the same ideals and create a similar bill for the United States? According to U.S. Department of Energy, the United States consumes more than 20% of all energy produced in the world. Imagine if as a nation, the United States was able to “Go Green”. The bill would create millions of jobs, in addition to significantly lowering the nation’s consumption of energy. As with most solutions, the United States would have to further spend money to reap the benefits, but such a bill would address the pressing need for more jobs and radically overhaul the nation’s lack of energy efficiency.

    DECC. (2010, September 21). Green deal to create green jobs (press release).
    Retrieved from

    O’Brien, M. (2011, February 15). Pelosi to gop: ‘show us the jobs’.
    Retrieved from

    Price, A. (2011, January 19). Uk unemployment. Retrieved from

  26. If the government is so keen on getting the unemployment rate under control, they are going to have to do away with some of the budget cutting.Instead we should be focusing on getting the un(der)employed jobs, which in turn will stimulate the economy making budget cuts slightly less necessary. It seems to me that our economy is already down enough, and yes budget cuts may be the temporary cure, but we know this country will just dig a bigger whole for itself. By getting more people into the workforce, people are having more money to spend which will go into our economy which is what we need. If everyone is able to start spending more, it opens up the doors to more chances of employment, because you are going to need someone to cater to the new spenders needs. This would be happening in areas such as the food business, and clothing. As mentioned in the discussion, Obama has called out for new Science and Math Educators, but these people are not going to want to go into this workforce when there is a chance that the government will follow its ways of budget cutting, potentially leaving them unsatisfied, or jobless again. I do believe the public sector will be extremely important in lowering the unemployment rate, especially because there are numerous jobs in this field that don’t require extravagant training or education. When it comes to the private sector, yes you are looking at opening new jobs, but the applicants will have to be fairly qualified. In January alone, we saw “manufacturing added 49,00 jobs, employment in retail trade rose by 28,000, employment in clothing stores increased by 15,000, and health care employment rose 11,000” (Bureau of Labor Statistics). All those just listed will presumably keep growing, especially if the economy sneaks further out of the recession. Health care will understandably be a huge opening for jobs over the next 6 years due to the Baby Boomers who are now headed into the stage of needing to be taken care of. The problem with this is that it is only a temporary cure. We need the public sector to open up more jobs because this will be the most effective way to higher in large amounts, rather than just one employee here and there. In order for all of this to take place, we need to have a more educated society. This is where we run into problems. Sometimes there are just simply no jobs for those who are looking because they do not have the skill.

  27. I believe the private sector is who we should call on to create more jobs. Although there are many industries that cannot afford to hire more workers or convert their part time workers to full time workers, there are industries where people can start their own businesses. One of the growing industries where this is possible is Interior Design. As houses take longer and longer to sell, people are turning to different tactics to get their house to stand out from others. A growing job is Home Staging. People cannot always design their house to stand out because of bias. This is where a Home Stager comes in. These people arrange houses to entice buyers. Most stagers are self employed. This means anyone can do this with little to no qualifications. Staging costs vary but can run form $75 for a consultation to $500 for a full staging. This is an easy way for people who are employed part time to become employed full time. People could even do this as a side job to supplement the hours they cannot get at their day job. Another growing industry, however not a self employed one, is Emergency Management. This market has been growing since the attacks on September 11. Emergency Management workers help to plan and prepare for terrorist attacks as well as natural disasters. This industry does require a college degree in public safety in some instances, but 18% of all Emergency Management workers have only a high school degree. This industry has a growth rate of 7-13%. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts a higher than average growth rate for this industry. Private industries such as hospitals, scientific/technical consulting, electric power generation transmission and distribution, and college/universities will be looking to hire these people.

  28. Jobs cannot and will not come from the public sector. First off, many state governments, along with the federal government, are in budget crises. So it can be very difficult for governments to pay additional employees. If they were to pay more employees, it would have to be paid for by higher taxes. Taxes which will hurt businesses and hurt hiring in the private sector. Additionally, with the Republican party in control of the House, states cannot expect much more aid towards hiring. So you could say that jobs HAVE to come from the private sector by process of elimination.

    And the jobs will come from the private sector. I firmly believe in a free market, and I believe as the economy recovers, hiring will improve and the unemployment and underemployment rate will drop. As the economy improves, many entrepreneurs who are waiting for a better economic state will start businesses, spurring hiring. These entrepreneurs will presumably be starting ‘small businesses’. According to the ADP small business report, over 50% of employment increases in the private sector came from small businesses. So where will jobs come from? The private sector and entrepreneurship. This is America, we don’t all need to work for the federal government. Yes, many firms that laid off workers to cut costs will rehire workers. But during the Great Recession, many businesses failed. And they will be replaced by new businesses, creating new jobs.

  29. When reviewing the information in the most recent unemployment reports for 2011, the general perception was that the economy was showing a sign of improvement due to the unemployment rate dropping, but overall it could be argued that this information is understated. Though the economy added 36,000 jobs in January and lowered the unemployment rate by 0.4 percent in the last two months, these seemingly positive readings are not completely accurate of what is really going on. What the study does not take into account is the fact that some of the unemployed have taken a break from seeking employment, while others have taken on part time jobs, which they are over qualified for, in order to get some sort of income into their household. The actual underemployed or “overqualified” workers are pushing 17 percent, which is a staggering number. According to the United States Census Bureau, the population within the country increased by 27 million people during the past decade, and now each month, 125,000 newly eligible workers, in the form of young Americans or immigrants are seeking work (Teichman). When we look at the 36,000 compared to the 125,000 that are looking for jobs that certainly leads to a concern. In order to bring the unemployment numbers down to a socially acceptable number of 5 percent, the economy will need to hire an additional 250,000 new workers per month, over a 60-month period (Teichman). This creates a problem that will only get worse if the public or private sectors don’t settle on a plan in securing job growth in the near future. The question is often asked, where should we rely on the jobs to come from? The government has many plans on the table to get the economy out of the slump, but there are many issues with their proposals. The private sector certainly should be considered to contribute to job growth if the government’s tax regulations and health plans are supportive. The private sector will allow a much more efficient way in hiring, as the public sector tends to over hire and has layers of people that can do the same job (Pettinger). Something else to consider is that the public sector is based off a government payroll, with no financial incentive for hard work across the board. If the job is instead contracted and completed from a private firm, financial incentives from the government are a possibility for fast work and accountability. Currently there is the perception that the economy is improving. I feel the government, when reporting economic statistics, should disclose the whole picture. I feel both the private and public sectors will play vital roles in the future improvement to our country’s infrastructure and health care areas, where immediate jobs can then contribute to our country’s needs.

  30. These problems that are being addressed are neither understated nor overstated. This article states the unemployment rate in January of 2011 fell to 9.0% down from 9.8% in November of 2010 and also the underemployment rate being 17% in January of 2011 up from 9% in December of 2007. However, if we look at the numbers from the previous two years, we mostly see not much of a vital difference of the current situation we are in. The unemployment rate in September of 2009 measured out to be 9.7% according to this article. ( The underemployment rate in October of 2009 peaked at 17.4% according to this article. ( At the moment, nothing seems to be improving or getting worse. Ben Bernanke stated that he predicts the unemployment rates to be 8-9% or high for a long time. This has remained true since September 2009. If we look at last year’s number rates ( from January to September 2010, the rates were higher at the beginning of the year and soon dropped as the year progressed. Judging from the article alone and comparing the rates from the past year or two, nothing is really being overstated or understated. There may be job growth in some areas but it does not help the overall unemployment problem.

  31. The problems in our economy are definitely overstated by the commentators shown in the blog topic. These economists have pretty negative outlooks for our economy, but obviously the economy is going to recover, companies will continue to function, and people will change like they always do to fit the changing labor market and changing economy. The economy already shows many positive signs that it is heading in the right direction. The Wall Street Journal recently reported, “Fed policymakers boosted their projections for 2011 growth in U.S. gross domestic product to between 3.4% and 3.9%, up from the 3% to 3.6% they estimated in November”. ( Although our economy is called stagnant and poor, it is still producing and people are still working. With these increases in GDP, comes hopes of increasing wages for workers. ( Economists are predicting a boost in wages in the coming years, which will increase consumer spending and add to the positive cycle of the economy. With the economy moving forward, and the government’s stimulus program running through June, the economy isn’t looking as bad as some of those journalists make it seem.

  32. The unemployment rate has dropped but primarily because America is now in recovery mode. As pointed out in the post the 9% unemployment rate would be much higher if added the underemployed. The numbers are deceiving. It is now time for the private sector to stand up and create more jobs. The government is unlikely to create another stimulus package to administer aid to those unemployed due to the changes in congress from supporting democrats to the new republicans. The Private sector is based on the idea of profit and expanding in order to create more profit will ultimately more job creation. According to Career there are a number of industries that are actually need employees. Industries in the fields of automotives, skilled trade, and transportation are areas which are looking for employment. Most people who are unemployed must realize that they if they cannot find a job in which they want, they must train themselves and look for employment in the fields that are hiring. America should now let capitalism take over and let the jobs be created through the market.

  33. Despite the sluggish growth in the job market, software engineering/development jobs will be doing the most hiring over the next few years. According to, software engineering is number 1 of the top 50 jobs in the United States. It is in the top ten for estimated job growth over the next 10 years coming in second at 46.07%. There is an estimated annual growth of 44,770 in this field (1). I can relate to this personally because I am majoring in this field along with telecommunications and I have been of interest to a few companies and already have a job lined up for when I graduate. Education in this field includes B.S. degrees in computer science and telecommunications and has steadily progressing. These sectors aren’t hiring the “underemployed” and a lot of companies are typically looking for people with upper level to senior level experience. However, companies are starting to look more for entry level positions such as Google. According to the Los Angeles Times, Google plans to hire more than 6,000 people in 2011, most of which are software developers. Google has announced a 10% raise for its employees last fall and plans to expand its payroll to more than 30,000 (2) Google is just one example of IT companies that are expanding its growth despite the present crisis. As technology is improving, more jobs are being created which in turn is promoting job growth.

    Best Jobs in America. Money Magazine. (1)

    Guynn, Jessica. Google to hire more than 6,000 workers in 2011. LA Times. January 26, 2011.,0,1637138.story (2)

  34. @Mike Jurkiewicz

    I completely agree with Mike that as the baby boomers head towards retirement, the number of healthcare jobs available will increase immensely. What concerns me is the ramifications of the recently passed ObamaCare. Dr. Gottlieb, a former official at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, believes that with the eventual migration towards the public option, doctor’s salary will decline as much as 15% to 20% depending on their specialty (Gottlieb, 2009). In addition to a decline in income, there will be regulations that will only drive up the costs of practicing medicine. With the demand for trained health care professionals soon to reach new heights, shouldn’t this new healthcare plan encourage, not discourage, students to pursue jobs in the healthcare industry?

    Gottlieb, S. (2009, May 12). How obamacare will affect your doctor . Retrieved from

  35. The high un(der)employment rates we are currently facing should not be surprising. Economic recession is the U.S. has historically been coupled with a rise in unemployment rates, while economic growth encourages employment. Stimulating economic growth and expansion will indirectly lead to a rise in employment rates.

    If the government is cut taxes and not provide additional spending stimulus, then the jobs must come from the private sector. The tax cuts will serve to encourage growth in the private sector by giving people more money to spend, which lead to more purchasing, business, and in turn jobs.

    Although, I do not believe we are cutting government spending from the right areas. As we have already seen, government spending on national defense, social security, and healthcare make up such a disproportionately large percent of the total, that any significant cuts should come from those areas, not smaller ones like education, which would help Obama get his “100,000 math and science teachers.” I think he is correct if focusing on education in these areas. These are the industries of the future, and encouraging education in these areas will encourage economic growth from them in the future.

    Sources: GECON200

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