What is occurring today could only happen in the United States of America. Its roots are the American birthright. Its essence re-imagines the American Dream.
The Work Strong blog is an ongoing and regularly updated excerpt from Peter Weddle’s 2010 book, The Career Activist Republic.
To transform yourself into a career activist and claim the rights of workplace democracy for yourself, get The Career Activist Republic today. Click here to get the book at Amazon.com. Or, click here to order it directly from WEDDLE’s.
Excerpt Number 4, September 27, 2010.
A Less Jobs Recovery
Unlike the ebb and flow employment pattern of previous economic downturns, the recessions of 1991 and 2001 subjected the U.S. to the horrible, hollow optimism and faux opportunity of a “jobless recovery.” The economy expanded, but jobs were created at an almost imperceptible pace.
For example, according to the organization that dates business cycles, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the 2001 recession officially ended in November of that year. Yet, as 2003 drew to a close, payrolls and the jobs they supported among the country’s employers were still declining. A full two years had passed, business profits were growing, and there were still legions of Americans out on the bricks looking for work.
Worse, that trend continued for almost ten years. Indeed, the decade between July, 1999 and July, 2009 was the first since the Great Depression to see virtually no new jobs added in America’s private sector.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that during this period, job growth stalled at a puny 0.01 percent. That equates to a net gain of just 121,000 private sector jobs during the entire 10-year span, a figure that is only slightly larger than the crowd at a single Michigan State football game. As a result, those who were out of work continued to struggle to find employment even as business activity expanded. Employers were increasing production and service delivery, but they weren’t hiring to do so.
Bad as that was, the job market after the Great Recession of 2008 has been even more radically transformed. Instead of experiencing a “jobless recovery,” the country is now enduring its first-ever “less jobs recovery,” a drip-drip-drip brutalization of workers that is unquestionably legal, but can only be described as “employment waterboarding.”
The economy is strengthening, but America’s employers are still wrenching jobs and the people who fill them out of their organizational structure. They laid off over 1 million people between January and August 2009, 60 percent more than at the height of the recession in 2008. The economy has, by most measures, improved since then, yet the drip-drip-drip continues.
Is there still hope in the Land of Opportunity? Absolutely! But it will be realized with strategies and tactics unlike those used by previous generations of Americans. Hope will be reset in this country by career activism.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. Please get your copy of The Career Activist Republic and encourage others to do so as well.