Monday, March 1, 2010

"Great Reset" will Result in Higher Rates of Unemployment; Prospects for Job Recovery in Owensboro Better

Two recent article about national levels of unemployment paint a troubling picture about the scarcity of jobs in the post recession period that economic development expert Richard Florida calls the "Great Reset."

The first, in the Sunday, February 21 edition of the New York Times, Peter Goodman shared the views of many economists that say the basic functioning of the American economy has changed in ways that make jobs scarce-- particularly for older, less educated people with a high school education or less.  Large companies are finding ways to cut payroll costs through increased automation or off shoring to low cost countries. The US has cut 5.6 million manufacturing jobs since 2000.  Click here to read the full Times article.

The second article, by Don Peck in this month's edition of the Atlantic Monthly, also discusses the long-term transformation that the economy is undergoing as a result of this recession.  Economists such as Nobel Laureates Paul Krugman, Edmund Phelps and Moody's Mark Zandi  predict  that the unemployment rate will be permanently higher, or at least higher for the foreseeable future.  Phelps,  in a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, believes the new "natural rate" of unemployment is likely to be between 6.5 and 7.5 percent.

Economists estimate that if the US economy is to return to five percent unemployment over 10 million jobs will have to be created.  To do its part the Owensboro MSA will have to regain around 1,100 jobs to return regional unemployment to pre-recessions levels around 5.7 percent.  The December unemployment rate in the Owensboro metro was 9.1 percent, compared to 9.7 percent nationally.   Prospects for job recovery in Owensboro are greater than many parts of the nation due to many of the pending projects such as the new hospital, hotel, and interstate connector.  Click here to read the Atlantic Monthly article.

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