Thursday, April 15, 2010

Some comments on those green shoots

We're hearing everywhere that the economy is now recovering. Hugh McFadyen and his motley crew are using this as ammunition against the Selinger government, saying that there's no reason to run deficits any more, because the recession is supposedly over. Now technically that may well be true, since recessions are generally defined solely in terms of the overall growth rate of the economy. And there have been gains in jobs lately, too -- but what sort of jobs are they? Armine Yalnizyan at Progressive Economics has some comments:
Forget total employment numbers, it’s the types of jobs coming back that count.

There is a shadow side to this recovery that may undo it in the end. Uncertainty is fast becoming the new normal in the labour market, and that has long-term implications for aggregate demand, household indebtedness, and the rate of defaults on mortgages and credit cards.

The latest Labour Force Survey results show that — though there are still 253,000 fewer jobs than when the recession began in October 2008 — employment growth continues its slow path upward. As Erin Weir noted on Friday, this month’s rising head count is driven by part-time jobs.

By March 2010 there were 47,800 more part-time jobs than when the recession began, but we are still down 300,000 full-time jobs. That mirrors another shift from stable to unstable jobs: more temporary jobs, fewer permanent ones.

And that's based entirely on "pure" economics, and doesn't take into account the fact that oil is likely to get a lot more expensive soon. Throw in that element and things could get quite unpleasant indeed.


Fat Arse said...


Ya gotta stop speaking truth to power... all it does is bum others out!

p.s. Excellent post, there's nothing like looking at one's own reflection in a Tar-Sand to make one appreciate how fucked up the status-quo is .... even if it hurts!

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