On Wednesday evening President Barack Obama gave his state of the union. One of his key points was jobs.
The U.S. faces a serious unemployment problem. Millions of manufacturing jobs have been outsourced to countries with cheap labor that will work for less than $1 per hour. These are jobs that are gone forever–unless Americans are willing to work at similar wage levels. Even highly skilled jobs in fields like engineering and computer science are outsourced to India where highly-educated workers are willing to do the jobs at a small fraction of U.S. wages.
Past U.S. recessions were cyclical. Employers laid off workers temporarily. Once the economy recovered, the workers were re-hired.
But in this recession, the number of permamently laid off workers has skyrocketed. Temporary layoffs are an thing of the past. Today when you lose you job, it’s gone forever. Most likely gone to somewhere on Asia.
Read The Growing Underclass: Jobs Gone Forever By CATHERINE RAMPELL in the New York Times Economix section. Study the charts in this piece. They hold the clues as to what is wrong with the U.S. economy. Also, read the comments. The general public seems to “get it” even when politicians don’t.
And here is another from NY Times Economix: A Growing Underclass, also by CATHERINE RAMPELL. Charts show that the length of time people are unemployed has nearly doubled.