The U.S. Unemployment Rate Did Not Decline Caused By Five Factors

By Himfr Paul

Second-quarter U.S. economic growth this year of 2.4% has been achieved four consecutive quarters of growth, but steady economic recovery has not brought about the employment situation improved capacity utilization rate, structural unemployment is serious and expansionary fiscal policy to create the employment effect poor and other factors caused the current U.S. unemployment rate remains high.

Recently, the U.S. trade deficit announced in June and some other economic data continue to expand the poor performance led to the recent global financial market fluctuated. Despite the good prospects for the current U.S. economic recovery, but unemployment remains high. How rational analysis plagued the high unemployment rate the U.S. economic recovery problem?

Being, in the first quarter U.S. economic growth revised upward sharply from 2.7% 3.7% in the second quarter U.S. economic growth of 2.4%. So far, the U.S. economy has achieved continuous growth in four quarters. Meanwhile, the level of output, private consumption, private investment, exports and government spending growth, and other data have shown that the current U.S. economic recovery has continued, although slightly tired.

Nevertheless, the U.S. employment situation is not optimistic. The international financial crisis, the United States unemployment rate rose sharply from 5% to October 2009 high of 10.1%, down 9.5% at the end of the year 6, at a high level to maintain. And from 2008 to 2009 a large number of jobs lost during the crisis compared to 2009, the rapid economic recovery since the second half, but the United States there has been no large-scale revival of new jobs.

Author’s opinion, led to the slow recovery of the current U.S. employment impact are five major reasons.


One is the actual output and potential output gap larger low capacity utilization. According to macroeconomic theory, the employment situation and the actual output minus potential output gaps are closely related. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimates, the United States in 2015 to reach its potential output growth. In the next few years, the U.S. unemployment rate will remain high.

Combined with industry capacity utilization term, in June 2010 the U.S. industrial capacity utilization was 74.14%, compared to June 2009 the lowest level of risk is much higher than 68.34%, but still significantly lower than in June 2008 the first three The average level of 80.81%, which indicates that the current U.S. real output and potential output gap larger.

Second, wage rigidity caused by the employment system, the employment situation is not conducive to rapid improvement. In western countries, most of the industry there significant trade union influence in organizations that determine the wage level of industry and improvement of strong impact.

Financial crisis, the U.S. average hourly wage has not decreased, but continues to maintain a steady upward trend, the end of the first half of 2010 reached 19 U.S. dollars / hour high. Rigid system of wage employment and wages resulting from steadily rising trend, making steady recovery trend of the economy, employers are not hastily adding staff, can only work longer hours to control wage costs. For example, the labor market, average weekly working hours, from June 2009 to 33 hours / 6 weeks to the end of this year 33.4 hours / week in the manufacturing working hours, 39.4 hours / week extended to 41.5 hours / week, more than a crisis before time.

The third is structural unemployment. Mainly originated from structural unemployment, including the industrial structure, product structure and regional structure, including changes in economic structure, the existing workforce knowledge, skills, concepts, regional distribution is not suited to the change, but also with the market demand does not match ultimately led to structural unemployment.

The financial crisis facing the U.S. economy a major adjustment, financial and automotive industries, the United States the traditional advantages of a serious loss of jobs, but the new energy, new industries have sprung up everywhere. Therefore, the cross re-employment has increased substantially, but the workers need to undergo a training and job search process to be re-employed, which will further lengthen the employment upturn, “delay.”

Fourth, recovery of the real estate market remains lackluster, inadequate capacity to absorb employment. As the real estate industry chain length, upstream and downstream industries and more jobs to absorb the important real estate is one of the industries, the United States is no exception. However, the U.S. real estate market is still in depression, two of which best reflects the real estate industry employment employment indicators – new home sales copy number and has started the new private number of houses suffered from a major decline. This indicates that current confidence in the U.S. housing market remains very fragile, depressed real estate market makes the loss of jobs in the industry continues to grow.

5 is the expansionary fiscal policy, poor employment creation effect. China’s expansionary fiscal spending put emphasis on railways, highways, ports and other infrastructure, as well as “Top Ten Industry Promotion Plan” in the tax cuts, creating a large number of jobs. In contrast, the United States put emphasis on fiscal spending save the insolvent financial institutions (such as the “two room”) and the hardest hit by the subprime crisis, and the industrial sector, large-scale tax cuts, “car-for-Cash Scheme”. Such relief can only eliminate the risk of the financial system, but can not create new jobs.

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