Monday, March 21, 2011

Where have all the jobs gone?

We're all wondering...

Where have all the jobs gone?

In the last 10 years, the United States has lost 1/3 of its manufacturing jobs.  We know that many of them have been outsourced and moved off-shore.  They've gone to India, China, Malaysia, and Mexico.  And, they're not coming back.

Some have been lost to automation, computers, technology.  Recently I had a client who was working on a manufacturing line whose job was replaced by...a robot.

It's not just manufacturing jobs that are disappearing.

14 million people are unemployed in this country, giving us an official unemployment rate of 8.9%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics March report.

We also know that this statistic, as horrible as it seems, represents an under-reporting of the real situation.  That's why the Department of Labor has engineered a new statistic -- the Underemployment Rate -- which includes the "discouraged" workers, those who have given up looking for a job and have fallen off the unemployment rolls because of chronic long-term employment and the "underemployed," those people who have taken part-time jobs or projects because they are unable to find a full-time position.

The underemployment rate is 20%, or 1 in 5 workers.

That's pretty bad.  One in five American workers can't find an appropriate full-time position.  Is that because we are still in the Great Recession, or is there another explanation?  Is there a silver lining amidst all this dire economic news?  I believe so.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post...

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