Two charts on unemployment. Previous recessions recovered faster. Bailout not helping construction

Employment Recessions

10.2% Unemployment Rate. That’s the ‘official’ rate. The real rate is probably more like 17%, counting underemployment and those no longer counted.

construction jobs lost vs. added by stimulus

The verdict so far on the stimulus bill and construction job creation across the country?

Jobs are being created and saved but nowhere near a rate that will allow the stimulus bill to claim victory over construction unemployment.


  1. Unemlpoyment will continue to rise for some considerable time to come and I doubt that it will fall much after it stops rising. Take the car industry, before the recession they were producing far too many cars and just piling them up. With “restructuring” that will mean more efficient production methods using less manpower and producing less cars than before. How many industries depend on the car industry? They too will not be employing anything like before. The recession gives all those companies that are doing not too bad to shed some labour to reduce their costs and get away with it, “there’s a recession, sorry you have to go”. It is an illusion to think that the West can get back to the top of the manufacturing world, the tide keeps shifting East and has been for years, why should we think that after a recession that trend will turn? As for “green technology”, not labour intensive and where possible they will go for the cheaper production out East.
    Instead of shouting for jobs we should be shouting to restructure our society away from the illusion of perpetual growth that depends on having a third world of cheap labour and cheap raw materials. It seems a bit immoral to be trying to get our standard of living ever upwards knowing that it can’t be done under the present system without that pool of poverty the feed us the cheap materials and labour.

  2. Physics is everything, everything is physics… perpetual growth, by its very nature, perpetual, is unsustainable, bound by all laws of nature, of physics, to fail. And the greater the size of the perpetual motion machine the more spectacular the failure.

    Size does matter.

  3. There is nothing in the rule book of the beast that is capitalism that says the West can’t become the third world and the East the first, capital is not patriotic. Like Ten Bears says, perpetual growth is unustainable, the growth just shifts and the desert moves.

  4. John and Ten Bears are both right: we’re based on growth and exploitation. But you can’t throw everyone out of a job and expect to have a market for your product. That’s the flaw in the global ointment.

    Put your neighbor to work and he or she will buy stuff from your community. Economists say a local job created provides 6-12 (depending on the source) times the benefit of a job created somewhere else. So you pay an extra buck, but you get back $6 in new business.

    As for the starving factory workers, east and west, let’s put them back on the farms where they were able to feed themselves and their families. Moving them to the city didn’t do them any favors.

  5. seeking self-sufficiency and sustainability offers hope, developing “things” for export invariably reaps ruin somewhere along the line.

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