Unemployment to Remain High: Abundance of Labor, Poverty of Talent

For the unemployed, the road back to employment seems to be getting longer and longer. Worse it seems to be filled with bumps that will never end.


The number of unemployed in March was unchanged at 15 million, but those now counted among the long-term unemployed, those working part time because they can’t find full time jobs, and those considered officially “discouraged” continues to grow. When you add together the unemployed, the discouraged workers, those working part time but want full time jobs and the group the BLS calls “marginally attached” the total is 26.4 million.


Even more indicative about the state of our economy is that the number of workers who have been without a job for 27 weeks or more increased by 414,000 over the month to 6.5 million. That’s 44 percent of the unemployed.


On a brighter note, the economy did add 162,000 jobs last month, the largest one-month increase in three years.  But that was partially fueled by 48,000 people hired by the U.S. Census Bureau.  Private sector job growth of 123,000 however  was better than expected, offering evidence and relief that government hiring was not the only cylinder firing in the sputtering  engine of growth.  Even the construction industry added 15,000 jobs, compared to the 142,000 jobs lost just 12 months ago. As recently as January and February, construction was throwing off jobs at the rate of 60,000 a month.


Welcome to the new economy – one where high unemployment and job creation co-exists. The cover story in this month’s Business2Business Magazine addresses the workforce filled with an “abundance of labor and a poverty of talent.” Read the full article download the pdf. 


It’s also the topic of my Workforce Trends Radio Show this week.  My guest will be the editor/economist at Business2Business Magazine, Ted Byrne.




Ira S Wolfe