Friday, January 01, 2010

Job market finishes the 00 decade with losses; the engine for jobs growth has stalled because of paradigm problems

Neil Irwin has an important story on The Washington Post online New Years Day, “U.S. Economy Took a Dive in the 2000s, a Lost Decade for Workers”, link here.

Although the 00’s were the “Bubble Decade” and although there are conceptual problems with managing financial regulation, the job market seems to have finally fallen victim to excessive short term focus by employers, which then got further squeezed by the collapse in credit markets (particularly affecting loans to small businesses), even as the stock market started to recover, an anomaly that Donald Trump has criticized as dangerous, pointing to another stock market bubble.

The job market may have fallen victim also to excess “hyper-individualism” and vanity. New trends in social media encourage the propagation of free user-generated content, which turns out to be valuable as a source of journalism and even the arts, but which also undermines the job base in traditional media industries. “Free” can’t pay mortgages or support families.

Try this MSNBC video that compares "real life" outplacement companies to the movie "Up in the Air". I went through this in 2002. True, most of the time the outplacement company does the post-partum counseling, not the original firing. In the movie, George Clooney characterizes the corporate managers who hire him to do the firing as "cowards".

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