Saturday, January 31, 2004

The Jobless Recovery (

The Washington Post is getting to be a little bit like the Wall Street Journal; ok on newsgathering, but so reactionary in the editorial page that you really have to wonder-- with the WSJ, at least they forthrightly wear their conservative mantle, whereas WaPo is still seen, wrongly, as a liberal newspaper:

Firms have to create jobs they never had before, which takes longer than re-creating old ones. As a result, the new structural nature of unemployment means that job creation lags in the early stages of a recovery.

Mr. Bush should not be blamed for this, though his irresponsible fiscal policy harms business confidence and therefore job creation. But the bigger question is whether jobless recoveries are a bad thing. They are, after all, the flip side of good news. There is less cyclical unemployment these days, so recessions are milder; fewer jobs are being created now because fewer jobs were destroyed during the downturn*

*This is simply not true. 2.4 million jobs lost since 2000, versus less than 100,000 new jobs since the ostensible recovery started in 2003.