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  • PODCAST: Unemployment

    In a recent Heritage in Focus, Heritage expert James Sherk discusses the recent unemployment report. Listen to the full podcast, here.

    The recent jobs report released was extraordinary. For the first time in its history, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that the average length of unemployment was nearly 40 weeks – the longest average ever.

    Layoffs don’t account for such high unemployment, however. Believe it or not, our economy lost more jobs during the 2001 recession than we did during the 2008 recession.

    So what’s driving high unemployment?

    The lack of job creation.

    In a recent Congressional testimony, businesses protested crippling regulations. Tom Nasiff, president and CEO of the Western Growers Association, said:

    With a regulatory environment that is stifling job creation and economic opportunity, the majority of us must rely on off-farm income to support our families,” Nassif said, “an increasing number of us are moving our production off-shore, and some of us are simply shutting down our operations.

    Listen to Heritage labor economist James Sherk add his analysis, here.

    To get regular updates on Heritage in Focus podcasts, visit our RSS feed or subscribe on iTunes.

    To listen to more Heritage in Focus podcasts, visit our podcast page.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to PODCAST: Unemployment

    1. George Colgrove, VA says:

      Joblessness, McDonalds and some thinking

      The Jobs numbers went up a little over 50,000 if you believe the federal workforce who created those numbers.

      Most of those jobs belonged to one company – McDonalds.

      McDonalds has of late been refurbishing its restaurants to be more upscale. They offer gourmet coffee and even oatmeal and fruit for morning eating. These new restaurants have large screen TV’s showing news. Some have fireplaces. Most are including elaborate child play rooms.

      What McDonalds is recognizing that the federal government is not recognizing is that 20 million people who worked in the private sector have either lost a significant portion of their incomes or lost their jobs altogether. These are people who used to earn the high 5 digits or even 6 digits incomes. They were used to eating in fine restaurants but now are regulated to fast food. In its compassion and profit margin, McDonalds sees a market in the “former well off”. They are revamping their stores to cater to these people. They hired over 50,000 new managers and other employees with the eye on this investment. I say Kudos!

      Even Starbucks is changing its way by dumping its name. Starbucks is seen as a high end coffee shop where these “former well off” people used to frequent. They are shifting to a more “local” look to their stores. This way customers will not be deterred from the Starbuck’s logo, but think they are entering a local coffee shop. Look to Starbucks to lower their prices soon.

      Where the government is failing to see is that their projections are way off. There is not a rosy picture ahead. Large corporations are investing in the new “poor” either by injecting a massive amounts of cash in their physical infrastructure or by eliminating what they perceive as a negative image as it relates to opulence. In this way the Obama Administration and federal workforce has achieved it s objective. The middle-class is ruined and the upper class is on the run. We are now investing in poverty.

      Ryan’s plan is the best we have. But it is not recognizing the core problem with America. If the taxpayer citizen gets more money via tax cuts, it is going to their mortgage or credit cards – not spending. If there are no additional spending (and look, the stimulus that went to union government workers did nothing to increasing spending – unless they lived in DC), there will be no need for corporations to add on jobs for which there are no markets. Ryan’s plan relies on HOPE that the economy will get better. If large corporations are starting to invest in low to no growth, I think Ryan needs to start adjusting his plan. We need a balanced budget in FY12 and a debt limit freeze – NOW! If we cannot make the hard choices, let the debt limit do the work for us. If there is no more debt, then spending will need to be cut by natural flow of events. Conservatives are supposingly in charge of the federal body that controls appropriations. Just say no to any debt increase. End of discussion.

      Then lets start growing this economy with NO federal intervention. That experiment is now complete. We have tried every permeations of government control in this country and others. We have had the best socialist in the white house and congress and they failed. The federal government has failed to make this work. We have tried conservative fixes and they either failed or were corrupted by socialists later on. Stop taxing corporations and companies. Stop making them spend aggregates of trillions of dollars to report to the government for hardly $100 billion in taxes the feds collect. Soon in a natural progression, jobs will be created. It will not be shocking at start, but it will happen. But until then, lets not make it any worse by adding to the debt!

    2. Kevin H, college par says:

      This is worrisome and I don't know if we can ever fix the issue. Corporations are making record profits and are doing better than ever, since they can go out and find the most efficient and least expensive way to get things done – manufacturing, labor, etc… But American citizens don't have the resources to do that – we can't just go around the globe like corporations. We'll never be able to compete with East Asia and other parts of the world when it comes to providing cheap labor…and with computers and technology pushign more people out of the worlforce – not sure how we fix this outside of moving into industries we'll need down the road – advanced alternative energy, medical advancements, etc…

    3. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      Hey Kevin, back on your planet, perhaps corporation exist to NOT make profits. But here on earth, corporation must make profits to enable them to provide jobs.

      You want to "fix" the problem? Stop the unions from forcing the cost of everything

      corporation make go up. Then prehaps your evil, profit making corporations will not be forced to "go around the globe" to find cheaper labor, thus stay here at home and provide the jobs we desperately need.

    4. sam says:

      Man mistook measurement for understanding.

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