Monday, September 20, 2004

Worse than we thought

From Yahoo News:

"We don't know what the next big thing will be. When the manufacturing jobs were going away, we could tell people to look for tech jobs. But now the tech jobs are moving away, too," said Lori G. Kletzer, an economics professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz. "What's the comparative advantage that America retains? We don't have the answer to that. It gives us a very insecure feeling."

The government doesn't specifically track how many jobs have gone away. But other statistics more than hint at the scope of the change. For example, there are now about as many temporary, on-call or contract workers in the United States as there are members of labor unions. Another sign: Of the 2.7 million jobs lost during and after the recession in 2001, the vast majority have been restructured out of existence, according to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

My dad is a web developer, who's been working his whole adult life toward his career. He's also been laid off twice in the past year. The best my family can hope for now is a temp job here and there. As I type this out, he's in Dallas (a six hour drive) doing an interview because it's the closest job he could find.

Campaigning in the poverty-stricken farmlands of the midwest, Bush tells the residents "I can hear you". It's a sad state of the affairs when the best consolation the president can offer is "I promise I'm not completely ignoring you... this year."