Felix Salmon on today’s job report, which showed a gain of 64,000 private sector jobs and a loss of 159,000 government jobs:
The U.S. does not have the luxury of waiting indefinitely for job growth to resume. Already we’re at the absolute limit: any longer, and most of the unemployed will be long-term unemployed and, to a first approximation, unemployable. This country simply can’t afford an unemployable underclass of the long-term unemployed — not morally, not economically, and not fiscally, either.
Ezra Klein puts the numbers in context:
Take the report’s “good” number: 64,000 private-sector jobs. That’s about 35,000 less than the 100,000 or so jobs needed to keep up with population growth. It’s about 180,000 less than the number of jobs needed to get back to 5 percent unemployment in the next 10 years. It’s about 257,000 less than the 320,000 jobs needed to get back to 5 percent unemployment in five years.