Thomas Kochan, Co-director, MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research
According to the World Commission on Environment and Development, a “sustainable” economy must meet the needs of the present while not compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. By this standard, the American economy is definitely unsustainable: It is not creating enough jobs to meet the current or future population’s needs and the long term trend in job quality is destined to produce a declining standard of living for today and tomorrow’s workers.
June’s dismal unemployment numbers are just the latest indicators. The economy created only 18,000 new jobs (about 130,000 less than needed just to keep up with the growth in the labor force) and unemployment rose to 9.2%. Moreover, hourly wages over the past year lagged increases in prices by 1.5%.
These numbers, coming on the back of an equally bad report last month make it painfully obvious that the nation needs a new, aggressive, and comprehensive employment strategy, one that creates jobs directly and successfully engages business and labor in efforts to build a sustainable recovery and economic future. Read More