The fundamental challenge in this recession is that the growth that preceded it was a mirage. Bubble era borrowing created a network of financial jobs, real estate jobs and construction jobs that collapsed with the end of the bubble. Many of those jobs will never return.
An extremely high proportion (75%) of job losses in this recession are permanent rather than temporary. States will need to nurture completely new industry sectors and the infrastructure to support those jobs, while the jobless will need retraining in new skills to participate in those sectors.
More than two years after Gov. Jennifer Granholm launched what may be
the most ambitious job retraining program in Michigan history, 16,164
workers have found new jobs but nearly twice that many either dropped
out or are still unable to find work.
The more-than-$500 million
No Worker Left Behind program may be well-intentioned and well-designed,
but with Michigan leading the nation in unemployment for most of the
past four years, success has been limited.
In the State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama stated, "...jobs must be our number-one focus in 2010, and that's why I'm calling for a new jobs bill."
With the fiscal crisis forcing states to layoff hundreds of thousands
of teachers, nurses and police officers, the need for more federal job
creation and state fiscal relief support is clear. And there is
substantial momentum building around this issue in the states.
On Tuesday, December 8th, President Barack Obama delivered an address to the Brookings Institution on
the need for increased focus on the job crisis that is affecting so
many working families across the country.
Governor, Deval Patrick, has announced a
education reform, including free community college and universal pre-K.
Although many details have yet to be worked out, the proposed 10-year
Project, would dramatically increase access to public education and aims
to put Massachusetts at the forefront of education policy by making sure high
school graduates have the option of either free community college or
vocational options to strengthen workforce development for all students.