Creating Jobs, the Labor Market Recovery, and Other Links

March 18, 2010 by Emsi Burning Glass

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Links of note from around the web on economic and workforce development and education:

Time Magazine has a detailed look at what job creation might be like in the future, using an Austin, Texas-based firm as a case study.

The great American job-creation machine always has been and will continue to be private enterprise. The problem is that companies are beat-up from the longest economic contraction since the Great Depression. Plenty of economists think the worst is now behind us, but firms are still plagued by uncertainty about how fast the economy will recover. Nor can they plan responsibly without knowing the bottom-line costs of the massive new initiatives out of Washington on health care reform and carbon-emission regulation. Even companies that are financially fit often don’t feel like taking the risk of ramping up operations and hiring more workers. There’s been political pressure on banks to lend, but the problem for some bankers, like Frost Bank CEO Dick Evans, is that many businesses are debt-shy.

The New York Times has a gripping piece on how for-profit colleges have been a “conspicuous beneficiary of the recession.” These colleges often offer the same sort of training as community colleges — but at a much higher expense.

The increase in market opportunities for the for-profit education industry comes as governments spend less on education. In states like California, community colleges have been forced to cut classes just when demand is greatest.

“This is creating a very ripe environment for the for-profit schools to pick off more students,” said Lauren Asher, president of the Institute for College Access & Success, a nonprofit research group based in California that seeks to make higher education more affordable. “The risks of exploitation are higher, and the potential rewards of those practices are higher.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Real Time Economics blog discusses a paper that analyzes what the labor market recovery will look like.

Job losses in shallow recessions, they argue, are driven primarily by a slowdown in the rate of hiring, as opposed to layoffs. In severe recessions, job losses have historically been driven by both layoffs and a drop in the rate of hiring, with the drop in hiring persisting longer than the increase in layoffs. The latter appears to be what’s happened this time around.

So there’s a case to be made that the jobs rebound — which many economists expect will begin to register in the March employment figures — will be bigger this time than after 2001.

A resume blog goes over a list of the best and worst U.S. cities for new jobs. The No. 1 city for the most projected job gains: Anchorage, Alaska.