New Layoffs Are Harbingers of Broader Economic Changes
Technology and a shrinking public sector are dramatically reshaping the U.S. job market
The private sector added 91,000 jobs in September, according to payroll firm ADP's monthly
employment report -- a modest gain, but a welcome increase after last month's news from the
According to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, U.S. employers announced plans to cut 115,730 workers in September, the most layoffs since
"I just think we're in a paradigm-changing, era-changing, watershed -- whatever you call it -- time,"
Though the spike in layoffs is alarming, the bigger story in the numbers is what they presage for the future, says Challenger. He says that September's increase is not directly related to any new economic weakness, pointing out that 70 percent of the job cuts came from
Those potential future cuts are signs that the job market has changes ahead of it that will render it unrecognizable to older generations of workers. "It would appear that there are certain structural changes that are going on that are not necessarily cyclical." says
Government has been one major source of job losses in the U.S. economy over the last year and a half. And with more austerity coming, government jobs that were once mainstays will become more scarce. "We're going to see some of these core jobs, the most traditional jobs, safer jobs, the ones that you had more chance of a long-term, if not lifetime job, like being a mailman, soldier, teacher, being reduced in a large way," Challenger says.
In addition, cuts in military personnel -- which do not contribute to
Lubansky cites technology as another force that is shaping the job market during the downturn. Automation has already led to cuts in many industries, and it may yet threaten even the healthcare industry, one area that has been a rare source of consistent job growth, says Challenger. "Healthcare is going through a furious change in its operating system," he says of the transition to electronic medical records. The increased efficiency of that system, says Challenger, would eliminate the need for the infrastructure of people who process paper records.
Increased efficiency is yet another hindrance to job growth, and it is visible on numerous levels. U.S. GDP growth continues, albeit slowly, despite massive unemployment numbers. Profit per employee at privately held companies is also growing rapidly. In 2009, the profit per employee at privately held companies had plummeted from
Employers are indeed doing more with less, and thus may not see a pressing need to hire...yet. This is one reason to be hopeful: A business must eventually hire in order to grow. "When industries start to recover, what we would generally see is productivity increases first until a certain point until you can only get so much out of productivity," says Lubansky. "Normally that can only take you so far before you do have to start hiring more employees to get increased profitability."
Available at Amazon.com:
- A People's History of the Great Recession
- Job Destroyers Don't Deserve Tax Holiday
- What the Recession Has Done to the Rich
- Pot Calls Kettle Risky: The Wit and Wisdom of Tim Geithner
- New Layoffs Are Harbingers of Broader Economic Changes
- Is Obama's National Infrastructure Bank the Answer on Jobs?
- We Are In a Modern-Day Depression
- Dunkin' Donuts, McDonald's Franchises Warn of Job Cuts
- Despite High Unemployment, Millions of Job Openings
- How Renters Could Save the Housing Market
- How Low-ball Appraisals Are Limiting Housing Recovery
- The Moral Question
- Rise of the Renminbi as International Currency
- United States Woos Foreign Shoppers to Boost Sagging American Economy
- How to Create More Jobs by Lowering Wages: Texas and America
- 15 Stunning Statistics About the Jobs Market
- Training Unemployed for Specific Jobs Could Solve Many Problems
- Housing Slump Will Hurt Economies Well Into Future
- Can the Government Help the Housing Market?
- Are American Consumers Relapsing Into Debt Addiction?
- Obama Deficit Plan Could Derail Hopes for Super Committee Success
- Raising Retirement Age: Reflection of Our Evolving Economy
- Why Math and Science Education Means More Jobs
- A Good Fight
- America's Government Contracting Bonanza Bilks Taxpayers
- Two Cheers and One Jeer for the American Jobs Act
- Obama Jobs Plan Seems to Get a Boost From CBO Chief
- Will Obama's Jobs Plan Help Small Business Hire More?
- More Americans in Poverty Than Ever Before
- Why Consumers Aren't Spending
- Republicans Keep Helping Wall Street and Banks Over Main Street
- 5 Political Lessons of the Economic Downturn
- First Medicare, Now Paul Ryan Tackles Tax Code
- GOP Economic Plan Unlikely to Find Much Common Ground With Dems
- With Poverty on the Rise, This is No Time to Slash the Safety Net
- Vote on Disputed Trade Bill Could Be Hitched to Jobs Retraining
- Obama Vows to Do Away with Millionaire Tax Cuts and Reduce Deficit
- Has the Housing Market Finally Found Its Footing?
- Fed May 'Twist' Balance Sheet to Promote Recovery
- In Jobs Speech, Obama Passes the Buck to Congress
- Refinancing Out of Reach for Many Americans
- Self-employed Americans Down by 2.1 Million
- Government Needs to Help Job Creators and Middle Class Consumers
- Back to School and Deeper in Debt
- Will Obama Sabotage Jobs Plan With Job-Killing Free-Trade Agreements?
- Don't Fear the Double-Dip Recession
- Five Key Economic Battles Await Congress
- Feeling Stressed About The Economy? You're Not Alone
- Building an Infrastructure Builds Jobs
- Is Infrastructure the Answer to America's Jobs Problem?
- Investing in Education Is Smart Business
- STEM Education - It's Elementary
- We Need a Bold Jobs Bill to Stop the Double-Dip
- Could QE3 Help the Economy?
- What Kinds of Federal Spending Create the Most Good Jobs?
- Who's Worse Off: Europe or the United States?
- China and the United States' Debt
- Jobs Issue Plays Into Defense Cuts Argument
- Economists Forecast 2.3 Percent Growth Rate
- Why Standard and Poor's Had to Downgrade
- Who's Next on Standard and Poor's Chopping Block?
- Who Stands for Americans?
- Has The United States Economy Turned Into a Pyramid Scheme?
- Defense Industry Threatens America's Economy
- America Downgraded!
- What Standard and Poor's Ratings Downgrade Means
- The Disconnect Between Stocks and the Economy
- How the Government Is Killing Job Creation
- Along with Lack of Jobs, A Wage Problem
- Jobs Picture Better Than Expected Except for Government Workers
- What The Economy Looks Like at Stall Speed
- Is a Double-Dip Recession on the Horizon?
- Job Numbers Go From Grim to Ghastly
- Cities Where the Job Outlook Is Improving
- Obama Should Take a Lesson from George H.W. Bush
- The Only Social Security Reform Worth Considering
- Crisis of Confidence: Debt Debate Erodes US Global Standing
- Global Economic Downturn: A Crisis of Political Economy
- The Rise of the Wrecking-Ball Right
- Housing Starts Are Up, but Don't Cheer Just Yet
- Could the Employment Picture Be Better than the Government Reports?
- Many Ideas for Job Creation, but Little Action
- Eliminating Mortgage Interest Deduction Could Further Hobble Housing Recovery
- New Mortgage Limits: Another Hurdle for the Housing Market?
- Markets Spike on Bernanke Talk of 'QE3'
- Can 'Gang of Six' Save the Day on Debt Ceiling?
- Do We Need the Debt Ceiling?
- European Debt Crisis: Could Italy Be Next?
- It's Back! The Misery Index Rides Again
- The President's Jobs Plan
- Budget Debate Has Troublesome Historical Underpinnings
- 4 Bright Spots for the American Economy
- Job Growth Dismal, Unemployment Hits 9.2 Percent in June
- Why Small Businesses Aren't Fueling Job Creation in This Recovery
- Public Sector Job Cuts Threaten Economic Recovery
- Handling Big Contradictions
- How the Crippled Housing Market Affects Job Seekers
- Think Startups are Fueling the Recovery? Not So Much
- Tax Havens: Shady Deals
- As The 'Mancession' Peters Out, The 'Race-Cession' Is Still Going Strong
- Obama Trains Spotlight on Flailing Economy
- Strategic Petroleum Reserve Release Could Give Brief Economic Stimulus
- What to Watch for As QE2 Ends
- How Health Care Can Save or Sink America
- Crude Predicament: The Era of Volatile Oil Prices
- Financial Rebalancing Act: Stop Worrying About Global Flow of Capital
- Globalization and Unemployment
Available at Amazon.com:
New Layoffs Are Harbingers of Broader Economic Changes | Politics
(c) 2011 Tribune Media Services, Inc.