The Economic Policy Institute posts another way of looking at America’s jobs crisis. We’re now well more than than two years into a job market that’s worse than anything we saw in the two previous recessions.
If you’re out of work, you can expect your job search to take just over 40 weeks. And you’ve got company, lots of it. More than eight million Americans have been out of work for at least 15 weeks, and more than six million of those have been on the curb for at least 27 weeks.
The real problem is jobs, and we’re stuck with it for a while. EPI throws this prescription into the mix:
President Obama and Congress can implement policies that will rejuvenate the labor market, including: enacting a program to repair and upgrade the nation’s 100,000 public school buildings; implementing direct job creation programs in hard-hit communities; approving additional spending on transportation infrastructure; providing fiscal relief to states; and expanding the safety net (because doing so gets money into the hands of people who will immediately spend it).
That last part comes with an asterisk. Even if by some miracle Congress agreed to those steps, they’d be offset by the austerity measures in the debt-ceiling deal. The Wall Street Journal (sub. req’d.) reports today that President Obama is thinking of asking the new deficit commission to consider ways of stimulating the economy – an infrastructure bank, extended unemployment benefits, etc. – under cover of asking for steeper cuts in spending. “There’s no reason to stop at $1.5 trillion,” an unnamed official tells the paper.