◼ More people have left the workforce than got a new job during the recovery—by a factor of nearly three. - Mort Zuckerman/Wall St. Journal
In recent months, Americans have heard reports out of Washington and in the media that the economy is looking up—that recovery from the Great Recession is gathering steam. If only it were true. The longest and worst recession since the end of World War II has been marked by the weakest recovery from any U.S. recession in that same period.
The jobless nature of the recovery is particularly unsettling. In June, the government's Household Survey reported that since the start of the year, the number of people with jobs increased by 753,000—but there are jobs and then there are "jobs." No fewer than 557,000 of these positions were only part-time. The survey also reported that in June full-time jobs declined by 240,000, while part-time jobs soared by 360,000 and have now reached an all-time high of 28,059,000—three million more part-time positions than when the recession began at the end of 2007.
That's just for starters. The survey includes part-time workers who want full-time work but can't get it, as well as those who want to work but have stopped looking. That puts the real unemployment rate for June at 14.3%, up from 13.8% in May....
It is imperative that the U.S. focus on innovative and creative policies. Otherwise, the five-year crisis in employment will continue even when the economy seems to be recovering. Without such a focus, millions of American families whose breadwinners are unemployed or underemployed will remain dispiriting and apprehensive about the future, especially the young who are entering the workforce. The country needs a real recovery, not a phony one.
◼ SURVEY: 74% of small businesses will fire workers, cut hours under Obamacare - - Paul Bedard/Washington Examiner
Despite the administration's controversial decision to delay forcing companies to join Obamacare for a year, three-quarters of small businesses are still making plans to duck the costly law by firing workers, reducing hours of full-time staff, or shift many to part-time, according to a sobering survey released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
"Small businesses expect the requirement to negatively impact their employees. Twenty-seven percent say they will cut hours to reduce full time employees, 24 percent will reduce hiring, and 23 percent plan to replace full time employees with part-time workers to avoid triggering the mandate," said the Chamber business survey provided to Secrets.
Under Obamacare, just 30 hours — not the nationally recognized 40 hours — is considered full-time. Companies with 50 full-time workers or more are required to provide health care, or pay a fine.
◼ OBAMACARE COULD PUSH A MILLION PEOPLE ONTO WELFARE - John Hayward/Human Events @Doc_o
Another wrinkle to the greatest legislative disaster in modern history is revealed in a new report called “Public Health Insurance, Labor Supply, and Employment Lock,” excerpted by James Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute. The “employment lock” concept is of particular interest. It seems that the desire to acquire health insurance is a significant factor in prompting many low-income people to seek employment, and by relieving that incentive, ObamaCare could prompt a lot of marginal employees to give up and slide into welfare dependency. It doesn’t help that entry-level labor is not exactly a seller’s market these days.