Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Take on Jobs

In last night's State of the Union Address (link to video) President Obama focused on the economy among other things. When it comes to jobs, can an administration "create" jobs? Former presidential and Labor Department speechwriter, Mark Lange's answer is no, but "a prepared workforce can" (in the headline of his Opinion column in today's online edition of the Christian Science Monitor.

Mr. Lange did not discount presidential leadership. However, he emphasized job-seekers' persistence and willingness to be the "crucial part" of the story.
When we imagine that government – and even companies – “create” jobs, we’re missing half the story: the crucial part. The part that most of us can actually influence, right now. It’s a paradox, but job seekers are actually job creators. People (and the politicians that love their votes) tend to focus on how many employers happen to be hiring. But an overlooked tenet of labor economics says that what’s equally vital to creating jobs is the presence of an adequately skilled workforce capable of filling them.
Mr. Lange suggested five "steps to create sustainable job growth, that don’t rely on official Washington."

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