Where are the jobs?


Last night I was tied up on a long Q-and-A about the job situation in America. The bottom line? There are not any to speak of:

Last month, the New York Times reported that U.S. corporate profits had risen a steep 40 percent since the financial crisis in the fall of 2008, and by next year average corporate profit margins are expected to rise to a record 8.9 percent. That's a key reason that stocks on Wall Street have rebounded so sharply from their early 2009 lows.

But these profits have come on the backs of the American worker, who has watched salaries remain flat. Public companies are stockpiling their excess cash rather than hiring back workers or buying new equipment. Indeed, some companies plan to remain profitable through continued job reductions.

These firms basically aren't hiring because they don't have to. Their main obligation is to their shareholders, and more than at any time prior, firms have squeezed out productivity and learned how to do more without hiring workers back.

Speaking of the NYT, Bob Herbert says it much better than I do:

We’ve got more and more people in our working-age population and fewer and fewer jobs to go around. Mr. McMillion tells us that there are now 3.4 million fewer private-sector jobs in the U.S. than there were a decade ago. In the last 10 years, we’ve seen the worst job creation record since 1928 to 1938.

We’re not heading toward the danger zone. We’re there. The U.S. will not remain a stable society if this great employment crisis is not addressed head-on — and soon. You cannot allow joblessness on this scale to fester. It’s wrong, and the blowback will be as destructive and intolerable as it is inevitable.

Not sure what's happening today -- all options are on the table. Posting will be light. Discuss whatever is on your mind.