500,000 Jobs Needed Monthly to Match Population Growth, Prior Employment Levels

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

November 20, 2014

The San Francisco Chronicle is one of many newspapers that runs favorable stories about the state of the economy and a stronger jobs market. The Chronicle pointed to the Bureau of Labor Statistics November 7 jobs report which noted that unemployment fell to 5.8 percent, down from 7.2 percent a year ago. A more realistic evaluation of the employment market, which observes that much of the recent employment growth is attributable to more hiring in low-paying, part-time restaurant services positions, can be read here.

According to the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute, however, the U.S. labor market won’t return to pre-recession 2007 conditions until – hold on to your hat – 2018. EPI analyst Elise Gould calculates that the jobs shortfall to date is 6.1 million. After factoring in U.S. population growth, a net gain of one person every 15 seconds, Gould estimates that 500,000 jobs need to be added each month to get back to where we were seven years ago.

Robots may someday do your job, especially if you work in manufacturing or office administration.

Gould doesn’t account for the possible loss within the next two decades of up to 50 percent of all jobs to automation. Especially vulnerable are positions in manufacturing, already on the wane, and office administration.

Even so, Gould concludes: “Between the jobs gap and the sluggish wage growth, it’s clear that we are far from a full recovery.”

Not a shred of evidence exists that there’s a labor shortage in any occupation, much less a need to import millions more overseas workers or give an executive amnesty and work permits to at least 5 million aliens currently living in the U.S.

Go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to ask your Senators if they stand with American workers or support massive increases in foreign-born labor.

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