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ERIC Number: EJ987537
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-0276-8739
Addressing the Employment Situation in the Aftermath of the Great Recession
Neumark, David; Troske, Kenneth
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, v31 n1 p160-168 Win 2012
Since U.S. economic growth began to slow in 2006, both the Bush and Obama Administrations have enacted a number of fairly costly programs designed to stimulate the economy and employment growth. Because many of these programs are fairly new, there has been little comprehensive examination of their impacts, but initial analysis suggests that these stimulus efforts have had a fairly limited impact on job creation and unemployment, and any impact they had has come at a significant per-job cost. Perhaps the more fundamental question is what federal policy can do to improve the long-run health of the labor market by spurring a persistent increase in the rate of job growth. This is of course a major challenge, and the hardest one to solve. However, there are some areas where policy, and policy changes, can likely play a role, although in this article the authors' remarks are more speculative. On the supply side, the country should focus on programs that enable workers to enhance their human capital and ensure that they can be employed when the economy starts to recover. On the demand side, the authors think recent research suggests that a "redirection" of programs and incentives that target small businesses might be appropriate. What this research suggests is that both temporary and permanent government assistance to small businesses--to the extent that it helps small businesses--should be focused on "new" small businesses, not small businesses "per se," with the goal of spurring entrepreneurial development of new businesses. In addition, the authors believe that the persistently high unemployment rate and the slow rate of job growth are the results of continuing problems in the housing market. However, there are some programs that could probably help stabilize the housing market and provide effective help to borrowers. More generally, the authors believe that the government should alter its mortgage modification programs so that, instead of focusing on keeping people in homes they cannot afford, they focus on getting people into economically appropriate housing. It appears to the authors that one of the biggest lessons from the last financial crisis is that governments need to be willing to expend significant resources to stabilize the economy and avoid an even more significant recession. Therefore, the authors hope that, even with the current deficit and debt concerns, politicians recognize the importance of this policy tool and do not create artificial limits on their ability to deal with future financial crises. (Contains 2 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States