Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bonddad Solves the Unemployment Situation

From the Financial Times:

“Nearly one in four construction workers is unemployed and nearly one in four bridges in the region are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete,” Mr Frye said.

“We have workers. We have work that needs to be done. What we’re missing is a commitment from Washington to invest in building our country, our state and our workforce.”

According to the BLS, the height of establishment jobs for the last expansion occurred in December of 2007 when there were 137,951,000 establishment jobs. According to the last jobs report, there were 130,242,000, bringing the total number of lost jobs to 7,709,000. Here is a chart of the data:

The construction industry has been hard hit by the recession -- which you would expect coming off of a housing bubble. Total construction employment reached its peak in August 2006 with a total of 7,725,000 construction jobs. The latest employment report showed this total to be 5,573,000 for a total loss of 2,152,000 or 27.91% of all job losses. Here is a chart of the data:

Manufacturing has also been hard-hit by this recession. I think you can guess where I'm going here, so I'll just eyeball the following chart of total manufacturing employment:

Let's call that 2.1 million jobs since roughly the end of 2007, or about 27% of all jobs lost.

So, blue collar jobs lost total over 50% of all job losses during the recession. So, why don't we allocate, say, $500 billion to infrastructure investment and get these people back to work? Make the projects long-term so infrastructure employment will last until private demand takes over in 3-5 years.

Was that so hard?

No need to thank me, Washington, just stop acting like jackasses.