Getting better?

The latest economic assessment is one of those good news, bad news things. The good news has to do with the fact that unemployment claims have stabilized. This would indicate that those who have jobs can have a reasonable expectation that they will be able to keep them.

The bad news? Well, it would seem that this is because most businesses have trimmed their workforce to the bone. Everyone who could be laid off has been laid off. The current level of staff is the minimum the business can maintain and still function. In many cases, this means that business owners have taken on much more of the day to day work instead of delegating these tasks to others. The remaining employees are also carrying more weight and often for less money. But they, at least, are working.

The problem of generating new jobs remains and might even carry more significance than before. Many employers are realizing that they will have to maintain a much smaller and more efficient workforce if they are to survive. And many are realizing that this is possibly where they previously felt the need for more people to carry the load. In other words, people are willing to work harder and longer for less in order to keep their businesses alive.

This does not bode well for job seekers. Unless things get a lot better, getting people back on the job and employing new job seekers is going to remain stagnant. Looks like we have a lot more work to do.

D.D.

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