During the past two years — what should be the fat part of the U.S. economic recovery — job growth has averaged about 150,000 jobs a month. While that is better than nothing and better than losing jobs, the pace of job creation is way too slow given the depressed state of the American labor market.
Take into account the following: a) we need roughly 100,000 jobs a month to tread water, b) the millions still unemployed due to the Great Recession, c) the millions of discouraged workers who have dropped out of the labor force, d) the abnormal number of part-timers who would prefer full-time work.
Put it all together, says JPMorgan economist James Glassman, “and it likely will require businesses to create 10½ million new jobs above and beyond the 130,000 needed every month to restore the economy to where it was in 2007.”
And at 150,000 jobs a month, Glassman concludes, “it would take take 44 years to absorb all the unemployment.”
– job gains of 175,000 monthly would take another 15 years to recover;
– nonfarm payroll gains of 200,000 monthly would return the economy to full employment in 12 years, by 2024;
– monthly job gains of 250,000 would do the job in seven more years, by 2019; and payroll gains of 300,000 monthly would restore the economy to full employment in five years.
That’s the daunting employment challenge America faces. And quibble with the forecasts if you want, but the problem won’t get solved anytime soon by an economy slowly shifting back to trend growth of (hopefully) 3% or so.
We need acceleration. We need escalation. We need some hypergrowth years of 4% or more. Achieving that will require, among other things, a tax policy that rewards investment not lobbying, an immigration policy that attracts innovators and entrepreneurs, and fixing entitlements so they are a true safety net rather than a debt trap.
Indeed, just achieving 3% growth long-term, given demographics, will require pro-innovation policies across government.
Well, nobody is more fit to usher in an era of hypergrowth than Barack Obama — who has shown himself willing to say he’s committed to a more “fair” tax policy that punishes the investor class and raises effective taxes on nearly everyone through an increase in the cost of energy, clothing, food, etc; an immigration policy that actively solicits foreign countries for immigrants to come join our impressively-exploding food stamp programs; and a plan for fixing entitlements that is so genius that it can’t possibly be revealed publicly, because the people just wouldn’t understand it. It’s that complex and filled with genuine brilliance. Beyond the ken of most mortal men to appreciate, much less fully comprehend.