June 11th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

What if high unemployment is here to stay?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

What if this time is different? What if 10 percent unemployment is the new normal.

Fortune Magazine has a sobering piece that explores whether in today's economy there is no fix for high unemployment.

In addition to all the jobs that have disappeared overseas never to return, it's all about technology. We've already seen computers and robots wipe out lots of manufacturing jobs, as well as clerical and administrative jobs. And it could just be the tip of the iceberg.

Advanced technology might one day replace not only factory workers - but also professionals and jobs that require a college degree or specialized skills.

Skeptics suggest that while new technology might eliminate some jobs - it also creates new employment sectors. Fine… but here's the catch: innovation is likely to erase jobs in more labor-intensive professions... while creating new ones that rely more on technology and don't employ as many people.

Also, whereas in the past, new technological advances would wipe out jobs in one industry at a time - for example agriculture - this time around it's expected to hit hard everywhere.

If all this is true - it could mean the U.S. needs to fundamentally change the way our economy works. Higher unemployment would likely mean a drop in consumer spending, and that's the engine that drives our economy.

It could also mean people relying more on government social safety nets - while there are fewer tax dollars coming in and our deficits are exploding.

And - Fortune Magazine suggests that mainstream economists are "completely oblivious" to the fact that the jobs may never come back. Doesn't bode well for the rest of us.

Here’s my question to you: What if high unemployment is here to stay?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Chris in Washington writes:
Right on the money, Jack! Automation should be a dream come true for working people. It should mean more leisure time, more time for family, friends and community. However, in our monopoly-controlled economy, it only means more unemployment, more depression, more poverty. It's a crazy system.

Fred writes:
If such is the case, I'd say look for lower living standards and a declining population. In the absence of other positive, intervening factors to correct high unemployment, attrition will effectively pull the numbers in line.

Greg writes:
Technology has always changed the job market from the cotton gin to the automobile to the computer. No use complaining about it, you have to learn to adapt.

Lew in Virginia writes:
Competent scientists and engineers believe that by the middle of this century technology will displace nearly all human labor. Whether they are off by a decade or so, the trend is clearly heading that way.

R.E. in Shreveport, Louisiana writes:
If this is the new norm, it will at least help stop immigration. Studies have proven that the higher the unemployment rate in America is, the lower the immigration rate. Maybe this is not such a bad thing after all.

Lyn writes:
What did they expect to happen when they sent good jobs out of our great country? I can remember when we had all kinds of job opportunities. You could get a job in manufacturing, steel mills, on the river, coal mines, clothing mills, and also make a good living being self-employed. I don't think it will ever be the same. From Reagan through Bush #2, jobs flew out the door.

Bruce in Philadelphia writes:
Jack, it is here. We have entered a depression and no one will admit it.

Filed under: Unemployment
soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. Kathie

    As long as illegal aliens take our jobs and corporations are not penalized for hirig illegals, as long as corporations continue to be allowed to outsource American jobs for cheaper foreign labor, and as long as congress lacks the backbone to enforce laws on the books and represent the people they were elected to serve unemployment will remain high.

    June 11, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  2. Randy

    Oh yeah, and then some. Due to BP and the corporate-bought goverment, millions of people around the Gulf of Mexico and beyond will loose their livelihoods. An already bankrupt nation will slide into banana republic status shortly.

    June 11, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  3. Kevin in Dallas

    High unemployment is going to last a while. We have been acting in short term interests for so long that we have no long term employable skills.

    June 11, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  4. Willow

    I should hope not. But with the percentage of our manufacturing base that is now in China, being done by children, getting a dollar a day, we could have high unemployment for quite some time. We need to get small businesses started, solar, safe nuclear, wind power, wave power, ethanol from hemp or sunflowers (much more efficient than using food such as corn), and maybe we can work our way out of it.
    We need to rebuild from an oil based economy to alternative energies. The unions are losing strength, the pay scale is horrible, and not everyone can keep a family going on the minimum wage at McDonalds.

    June 11, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  5. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Jack, it depends on how employment is defined. The good paying jobs with benefits are gone until we stop allowing jobs to be shipped to China or India. So yes, the unemployment will continue to go up.

    June 11, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  6. Jason, Koloa HI

    There is no reason for there to be high unemployment.We have the biggest job since WWII. GETTING THIS COUNTRY OFF IT'S OIL DEPENDENCY! This needs to be a national mobilization as if every one of those gooey tar balls was a nazi ready to shoot. There is a role for every able bodied person in this country to turn America into a green nation and I can't think of anything more patriotic. Not even oil company owned republicans can justify standing in the way of this national mission in the face of the gulf disaster.

    June 11, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  7. Russ in PA

    Of course high unemployment is here to stay. Look at all the other social democratic models in the European Union. Only limited government and free markets bring us the prosperity we all desire. Perhaps you should try watching the Milton Friedman videos on such topics, and learn that massive government and asinine regulation only hinder our growth. Some day you'll learn...

    June 11, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  8. Carl

    Of coarse it is. The only safe job is a government job. Our government has sold the legal American people out. Far to much outsourcing, allowing way to many illegal people to just walk into our country and steal our resources, catoring to the minorities for a vote. We need to make all of our government laze balls take a 30 percent cut in pay and a major cut in there retirement packages, make them start working a 40 hour week, instead of getting 10 days off for Memorial day, and what a joke that is on our legal American people, that crap just needs to stop. Start taking care of the legal American people for a change, start doing the right things for our people and quit trying to be politically correct all the time, just do the right thing, it's that simple. Or in other words, replace our entire out of control government.

    June 11, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  9. Ed from California

    As long as we export more (money) than we import , (Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe's, Macy's, cell phones, computers, TV sets, stereos, furniture, cars, parts, cups and saucers, plates, clothes, appliances etc) then ya. Except the term will change from "high unemployment" to long term welfare. How's that "trickle down" working for ya. For me who worked at the same job for more than thirty years. What America is going through for me, is devastating. I'm glad I got a good retirement. Again, think before you vote!

    June 11, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  10. Chandler

    What are you talking about, Jack? Unemployment has never been lower - in China, India, Indonesia, Malaya, and Vietnam.
    Oh, did you mean the US? US jobs have been steadily eroding for decades, and those jobs are never coming back. After 40 years in the work force, I am back where I started, selling door-to-door. I drive around through a landscape of empty offices, shuttered stores, and locked, overgrown factories. American business - two-thirds of which is owned by the richest 1% of the country - has learned how to make money without the inconvenient, overpriced American worker.

    June 11, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  11. bob z fr ,pa.

    we could fix the economy with a few laws on tariffs or go to protectionism

    June 11, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  12. C Red in Desoto TX

    Yes and get used to it! What are the new industries to replace outsourced jobs to China and India? New energy jobs will only happen through force. High employment is still not painful to enough americans to mandate change. Change comes with force and necessity....unfortunately we as a country have not reached that threshhold yet.....but it's coming, just about the time Social Security will be bankrupt. We always over react or act to late.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
  13. ~BEVERLY~Mystic,Iowa

    Not in Arizona. Unemployment there is a thing of the past, thanks to the mass exodus to Mexico. Now, everyone in Arizona is working, at last.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
  14. Mike, Texas

    I am afraid so if we don't get off the dime and start investing in US manufacturing again. I get mad every time I hear about another plant moving jobs to Mexico or China.

    It seems profit is more important than good old patriotism. We can out produce any foreign country on the planet (on a level playing field) and we desperately need the jobs at home for our work force, not illegal aliens. How about exposing companies who move off shore, investments we make that do not produce American jobs, companies that hire illegal aliens (it is illegal isn't it). I can't seem to understand how we can still have 13 million illegal aliens in the US and high unemployment. Sorry, that was sarcastic. They are here because they are more comfortable here than where they came from. It is high time we made them uncomfortable.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  15. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    No it's not. That was probably said during the 1930's and many times since. The same applies to wars. Many people wondered if the Vietnam War was ever going to end. It's been over for more than 35 years.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  16. JOE CE

    Yes unless FAIR trade adopted.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  17. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    Like you said a couple of days ago, one kid in five lives below the poverty level. About one in ten adults are unemployed. If the average size family has two and a half kids then unemployment will remain high until at least half the kids live above the poverty level. Maybe the poverty level should be lowered and those looking for a job while earning unemployment compensation should be counted as employed. Problem solved.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  18. Kenneth in the High Desert town of Pinon Hills, California

    Unfortunately yes, our days of economic socialism is over. For decades thirteen trillion dollars of borrowing, and trillions in taxes spent on defense, entitlements, state grants, pork barrel, and a list almost infinite, has gone into our collective pockets from Uncle Sam. Sam is broke and on the brink of bankruptcy, so that leaves it up to business to supply the jobs, but don't hold your breath. Chances are, cutting jobs for profit will accelerate as Washington tightens the purse strings.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  19. Steve - Chula Vista, CA

    Yes. As a small business owner in California, we won't be hiring back the employees we had to lay off, we are hoping to make it through this recession. The policies of the current administration give us NO incentive to work hard any more. The cost of doing business in this state continues to go up, as well as the cost of having employees. We simply cannot afford the extra burden being placed upon us. California is broke and creating new fees and raising others. It is very tempting to close our doors and collect unemployment for 2 years.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  20. Gregory Tripp, Mechanicsburg, PA

    One side of me wants to say that things are cyclical, Jack, and things will get better. Then there is the ugly truth. Our budget deficit which has a stranglehold on our economy grows by leaps and bounds. The debt we owe can only be paid for by either increasing taxes or cutting spending, or both. In our recession, neither option encourages spending or hiring by employers. Add to that the mandatory cost of health care heaped upon American businesses and you've got yourself a fine soup of high unemployment. It would take some fancy footwork from DC to change that, and I have seen little evidence of good dancing from the folks in Washington.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  21. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    unfortunately due to the outsourcing of our manufacturing base to both China and Mexico, I fear that 10% unemployment is "the new normal", Jack.

    the middle class is disappearing. America is rapidly becoming a country of a few ultra-rich "haves" and with everyone else a "have not". it's the union busting Republicans dream. everyone scared for their job and too afraid to make any trouble just like in Communist China.

    I'm glad I'm retired.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  22. John from Alabama

    Jack: If high unemployment were to be a constant for more than 10 years it would not be a recession, but rather a economic depression. The last depression began in 1929 and did not end until World War II began which was a 12 year period. Let's hope we do not have to repeat history for this recession to end.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  23. Lori - PA


    If high unemployment is here to stay, then our elected officals really need to stop spending money we don't have.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  24. Larry James Hanshew

    Jack, Our high unemployment rate will go away the day [sic] illegal Emigration has been [reversed]. And we all know what that means? ["GO ARIZONA"] AND CALIFORNIA MUST FOLLOW SUIT!

    June 11, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  25. David , Laguna Niguel CA

    What do you mean "if"? Manufacturing jobs have left and are leaving this country at an astounding rate. Too many people do not have the skills or the education for the jobs that are remaining. Finally due to the tax and spend government (both parties) the baby boomers won't/can't retire any time soon to vacate their jobs.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  26. Johnny l Hatfield

    No Jack but the oil spill is going to slow everything down.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  27. Paul PE, Canada

    Well, I would suggest serious investments into renewable energies, research and other new markets as a means of remaining innovative and ahead of the curve. Its the only way America can be anything more than a consumption market that always runs trade deficits.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  28. Craig in Illinois

    Jack if that's the case expect more crime and violence. If that's so then there should be plenty of new jobs as gravediggers and prison guards. Also Jack I would bet Canada will build a border fence.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
  29. Tina Tx

    I just hope aluminin stays high so I can keep collecting and selling.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  30. Ed from Port Aransas, TX

    That's the free market, Jack. It's in the Corporations' best interests to move the jobs to where labor is the cheapest. And it's win – win for the corporations, because unemployment will keep labor costs low. And government will not intervene since Senators can now be owned. The Senator from Wal-Mart won her primary and remains anti-union and the Senator from Aetna killed the public option.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  31. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Well Jack I guess we'd be in some serious trouble because we have nothing to fall back on.Why is that you ask?? Well because our do nothing congress and government has mis managed our money so badly and caused a huge debt leaving its people helpless in time of need.The only thing that has EVER mattered Jack,is re-election and
    now its caught up with them I hope.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  32. katiec Pekin, IL

    Well, Jack, breathe easier as it is not. Things are slowly improving.
    You cannot expect what took eight years to create be resolved overnight. At least, now, we have a president that puts the American people over big business, Wall St, is concerned about the middle class, disabledetc, our health, education, financial woes and the environment.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  33. Bill

    High unemployment is only here for as long as it takes to make being unemployed illegal. It is illegal for you to drive un-insured, to not have health care (employed or not). So as the government progresses on it course, pretty soon it will be illegal to be unemployed..

    Sound familiar?

    June 11, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  34. Doug - Dallas

    It is Jack, for the next couple of years. The government will have to start making some tough decisions. Do we help those who need it or leave them to twist in the wind? It could lead to a political upheaval which we could use anyway or it could lead to riots or something worse. The new reality sucks and there's a lot of people who will be hurt by it in the long term.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  35. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Jack Just glad that I'm retired, really feel sorry for those that are unemployed and can't find a job, that just sucks. Maybe we should layoff the members of congress and they could see how it feels to be unemployed.Then again if you really think about it they all act as if they are on permanent vacation now. They are strictly a do nothing congress.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  36. Paul Austin, Texas

    If U.S. companies do not bring back the outsourced job it will be and we will all be up the creek for good.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  37. Simon/Orlando

    It will be if they don't give a tax break to small businesses. All that TARP and bailout money went to hiring more government workers. This is not a way to grow the economy and create private sector jobs. Going into insurmountable debt to keep and create Federal union jobs will bring this country to it's knees.

    June 11, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  38. Solitude

    "What If? That's not a question. Why and When, is much better! You are just becoming the 'Poor-Relaitive' that the rest of your relations, are glad to see it happen to. Your sutor married the wrong guy, and he spent all your savings, now everyone is laughing at you."

    June 11, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  39. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    It is. Those manufacturing jobs lost to overseas are never coming back to the USA. Technological capabilities doubles every two years. I just read on CNN the other day that Walmart may be using robots to do inventory overnight. Newspapers are not doing so well either. People will eventually be reading their "newspaper" over the computer. Many more jobs lost. With all of these advances, businesses will be hiring part time employees and not have to pay for them to have benefits. Our culture has to adapt to this new technologial oriented society and tailor their education to where the jobs will be in the future. This again,I believe widens the gap between the Haves and the Have Not by virtually eliminating the middle class. Our society is going to be more service oriented with the highly skilled professionals and then menial jobs that robots can't perform.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  40. Greg, Ontario

    Relax Jack there is no problem here. You are going to need a huge work force to clean up the damage your doing to the environment. Also you are going to need more boots to put on the ground in the next war you start. If i'm not mistaken that's over do. Iraq is all but done and Afghanistan is quickly getting to the who cares level. Those two alone should take care of the unemployed.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  41. Ray in Nashville

    It means that Republicans have succeeded in destroying America and the American dream. They have been working at it since the inception of the New Deal and the last 30 years have seen an all out attack on the middle class and we are now seeing the results.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  42. Lucy, from Texas

    Yes, because it has been close to 2 years when the economy crashed and no changes have been made. The Fat Cat CEOs are still getting and passing out obscene bonuses and Corporations are still passing out money to control the Congress. It is win win for the corporations and it is lose lose for the American public as we continue to pay for every corporate mistake with bailout money and inflated costs.

    Corporations make money by destroing jobs, paying less taxes, and pay our government officials money to enact legislation in favor of corporations or kill bills that would change bonuses or business profits. Time after time, American continue to watch helplessly as big corporations make horrible mistakes and expect the American Public to continue to pay for their mistakes likes sheep being led to slaughter. Get a backbone American. Start screaming from the rooftops that we are stick and tired of this and aren't going to take it anymore.

    An example of Americans being sheep is the Republican nomination of Meg Whitman as the next governor of California. Meg Whitman was not the founder of Ebay, she made billions as the Fat Cat CEO "or President" of Ebay. She has spent $71 million of her personal fortune in the campaign so far. She runs on fiscal responsibility and jobs. Wasn't it overkill to spent $71 million in the Republican nomination against some geeky insurance guy whose name sounds like "poison her". How many jobs could have been made in California economy with that $71 million? That $71 million went to some another CEO in Advertising. Corporations have taken over the American playground. They make the rules and they can't lose. It is time for common Americans to take back the playground from the bullies and stop giving them their lunch money.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  43. Jim, Va

    Jack, iguessit means that you'll just have to keep on working so that you can pay for my retirement benefits.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  44. Gary Siegfried Dolan Springs, Az.

    I think high unemployment is going to stay for quite awhile because of President Obama's current policies they are not business friendly.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  45. Pete from Georgia

    What do you mean "What if" ??
    It's here baby. Even if there were jobs available, little by little Americans are losing their appetite for work.
    Why work when you have a federal government who penalizes honest work and introduces socialism at every turn ??
    You can turn out the lights on this one.
    The party's over.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  46. riley oday

    I agree with Fortune magazine. Most of the jobs will not return. High unemployment is here to stay.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  47. Steve

    It seems that the only way to lower unemployment is to have people be retrained. Many people who are living off unemployment are hoping for a turn in the economy so that jobs will pick up. Imagine that there has been such a shift in economic stability that those old jobs no longer exist. Being retrained either by attending a technical college or four year university may seem to be extraordinary measures but there is no other way. I myself lost my job in Atlanta two years ago and have been attending a tech school the entire time. My wife and I live off of unemployment and savings. That was not our first choice but times are rapidly changing. We need more support in America to be able to retrain through health insurance not being tied to a job and unemployment paid throughout the whole retraining period.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  48. Kyle Irvine, CA

    Then we're all screwed if we don't go back to school and obtain new skills in technology. I was talking to old neighbor of mine yesterday who is 65 and has been retired for 5 years now. He told me that things aren't as bad as they seem (says the guy who worked for one company for 40 years and lives in 1.1 million dollar home).

    June 11, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  49. Minesh - Troy, MI

    Jack, as more people are getting laid-off we will get more entrepreneurs. We do not need any more safety net than we have.

    Actually cut the unemplyment benefits to 3 months and you will be amazed how quickly people start creating their own jobs.

    I had no safety net ten years ago and I started my own business.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  50. pat in michigan

    I believe you know your history well enough Jack to remember how Industry has always manipulated the working man to their advantage.
    I happened when Europe moved to America. As each new group showed up the business would blackmail the workers by demanding lower wages or they would hire the new immigrants .The new immigrants would take the jobs for less till the next group showed up.
    Our own Govt. has facilitated the same thing by allowing American Companies to send our jobs overseas for slave wages.
    When American Workers agree to work for minimum wage in manufacturing jobs with NO BENEFITS then the jobs will come back.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  51. Brian Ritchey

    It wasn't so long ago that we used the draft to soak up the unemployed and turn them into canon fodder. Jingoism and unemployment have a close association. In 1964 our economy was starting to slide so – deus ex machina we had the Gulf of Tonkin "incident." We used this "incident" to vastly expand the Vietnam war. It turned out that this "incident" was bogus. The people who were there at the time said the alleged attack by North Vietnamese boats never happened.

    Brian in Des Moines, Iowa

    June 11, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  52. Mark, Oklahoma City

    If HIGH unemployment is here to stay, then Barrack Obama had better enjoy the next two and a half years he has left in the White House. People can overlook a few broken promises, but when they are out of work, they remember ALL of the broken promises.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  53. Roy Birdzell

    Jack, the days of 4% and 5% unemployment are gone. Service sector jobs are saturated, and this country is losing ever more technical and industry jobs to overseas. We are being played for a sucker by those who promote global trading. Other countries go to great lengths to protect their workers, but here in the US we actually assist and encourage companies by our trading laws, reguations and business tax structure for businesses to move facilities overseas or to simply outsource their work force. This administration just wasted 750 billion dollars on political pork that did little to recharge our economy. Now, this administration is trying to scrape together another stimulous amount to infuse into small business to encourage hiring, which will be another waste of taxpayer dollars. What is needed, is to bring jobs and industry back to the US, and the way to achieve that is to make it more profitable for US and foreign businesses to operate here by various incentatives and tax breaks, and penalties on those businesses that outsource and/or relocate overseas. This "egghead" notion that we don't "need" industry type jobs is just plain dumb and hurtful to American workers.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  54. ~BEVERLY~Mystic,Iowa

    At least we can be thankful that no more oil will be "spillled", now that Big Oil has lost its lustre. It's certainly a good thing that those jobs will be lost, as long as everyone with jobs in that field has learned a new trade; a "green one". Fossil fuels are a thing of the past, going the way of whale oil lamps, powdered wigs, & corsets. .

    June 11, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  55. steve from santa monica

    High unemployment is being used by Bernanke/Geithner/Obama to control inflation. Right now the last thing they want is increased demand for goods and services. They seem to want new jobs created slowly at a pace matching a slowly recovering economy. It seems like a textbook economic tool. Another point is that the thousands of laidoff census workers have to wait two weeks before they can draw unemployment benefits. Many in that group start qualifing for first-time unemployed insurance this week and next week

    June 11, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  56. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Kelso and Adler proposed a system to respond to this development, which they called Two-Factor Theory, now called Bianary Economics. This seeks to give each person capital credit to purchase stock and requires firms that sell stock in this way to fully payout profit in dividends so that when the loan is paid off, individuals have a second income. So far, offshoring jobs has prevented the need to do this, since it is cheaper to have an Indian child make a pair of Nike's than to automate a plant to do so. Now that the tide is turning on off-shoring, Binary Economics may fill the need you cite to keep money flowing to citizens for consumption to occur.

    Another option is a six and a half hour workday, so that more people are employed at slightly lower salary. Of course, these proposals are not mutually exclusive.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  57. Krishna

    Dear jack,

    I agree the job losses and creations of new jobs does not follow the history. First we should look how we got into this situation. We, actually Harvard Business School and their ilk, created these business models and marketed them world wide. The world became "flat"!!! So, jobs are still created the old fashion way but in China and India. The wealth too is exploding there. Globalization is hurting US and talented people are migrating to India for jobs and manufacturing is still thriving but in China. Now, we are paying for our business follies and the greedy Wall Street does not care how they make money. They are betting on multinational economy while people in US are standing holding bags! The Tea Partiers say "don't look to Goverment for help". So, with no safety net we will fast move to becoming a third world and be at the mercy of China and India. I feel sorry for our children and grandchildre.
    LCF, CA

    June 11, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  58. Robert

    Now we can officially join the European Union with their 12-23% unemployment and their socialist economies.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  59. Joe G. (Illinois)

    It’s not a matter of opinion but of facts.

    Obama economics are not a learning moment in time, but a downfall. And who ever thought that “If it’s from the government it’s free” would get us to this point.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  60. Mr D

    We are going through a fundamental class change in this country due to the impact of technology and world influence, where the have and have not divide will continue to expand. This will lead to enormous social changes and could create a very dynamic and chaotic class struggle This will further divide the political parties and create real problems for the country as we go forward.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  61. Maria

    If higher employment is here to stay, we all will have to adjust the way we live. Spend less, save more, hone our employment skills to what jobs are available, think creatively about what those jobs might be.

    In other words, continue to do exactly what we are doing now.



    June 11, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  62. Greg in Cabot, AR

    The unemployment rate in my house is at 50% and will probably stay that way until I die.

    I am a 60 year old professional that has been looking for work since last year.

    There are No jobs for people that look like they might soon retired so the best I can hope for is a part-time job that would reduce my household unemployment rate to 25% (?)....not what I had in mind for my "golden years" and unless we get more younger people back to work, I doubt that Social Security will be able to keep us 'boomers' out of the bread line.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  63. Isaac Chestang

    High unemployment is only one of a long list of issues left by previous administrations that have now reached emergency status. How short our memories are of how we got here, especially the contributing policies enabled by the previous administration. Laxed regulations on banking, large coorporations and big oil. Every issue that we are facing now were contributed and made possible by the previous administration. And now we seem to want to blame Obama for it all and for not performing miracles from the sky to get us out immediately. What a Joke! Is everyone serious? What issues could they solve? Relax everyone, give the new administration a chance. If we were in a recwssion already with a trillion dallar national debt. with job losses of around 750,000 a month, what could you do?

    June 11, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  64. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, there are jobs out there. The issue is, more and more people are content to feed at the government welfare trough. Want to see unemployment go down, stop paying people NOT to work. Given the choice to work or starve, the majority will work, the weak will starve, and the country will be better off all around.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  65. Steve

    Hamas is on the US terrorist organizations list and are most probably on our no-fly list. Yet- President Obama just gave them $400 million in aid this week. Can anyone explain this ? Our schools are cutting back countless thousands of teachers, our nation has a deficit that is beyond anything we can even comprehend, yet we are going to borrow another $400 million to give to the hamas controlled West Bank ? Does anyone understand what is behind this ?


    June 11, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  66. James from North Carolina

    We have shipped the jobs offshore and now must learn to live a little more on the cheap. The global economy has hit mainstream USA hard and higher levels of umemployment are in our future for a long time. Children will not live as well as the parents or grandparents.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  67. Independent Joe


    It would mean our leaders have successfully run our great country into the ground, via trade agreements with countries that offer cheap labor, tax incentive for companies to move there, and a lack of border security.
    I believe the old saying: "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime" applies to us. They took away our fishing poles. Now what!

    Joe (MInnesota)

    June 11, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  68. Isaac Chestang

    When are our people going to wise up and go all out for green energy and stop supporting big oil and imported energy. Let me say while im at it that drug use here isn't helping anything either. If these people don't want to help terrorists and trafficing accross our borders. Stop the demand for drugs!! Stop using them and buying them, duh..

    June 11, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  69. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    We'll adapt. The Agricultural Revolution didn't throw us. The Industrial Revolution didn't throw us. The technological revolution won't throw us. Luddites no more.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  70. barbara in NC

    Well Jack – guess people will have to get rid of the extras in their lives - cable, newspapers, cell phones, etc.

    Uh oh – there goes Wolf and Jack – buhbye !!

    June 11, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  71. greg texas

    no doubt with people like carly the outsourcer in charge unemployment is a growth industry in America while India and China's economy and employment booms. With this level of unemployment remind me why we need not only illegal immigrants but any immigrants at all.

    June 11, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  72. Gary H. Boyd

    Well it means the country will eventually go TOTALLY bankrupt - more than just PARTIALLY SO as is currently the case. That's because 10% of folks not working are also 10% not paying taxes and contributing to the economy which is unsustainable over the long term. Therefore, by virtue of simple extrapolation (a six dollar word for estimate) one can determine America's economic demise. Now be honest Jack, did you and your viewers get all of that? If not, you can stay after class for further explanation.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    June 11, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  73. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    We created these appliances, machines and computer programs to be more productive and free us up from our labor. Look at us now. We have made our selves free of jobs and our paychecks. Be careful what you wish for.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  74. Charles in Lawrence NJ

    Business is all about profit, to do more with less. Whether it’s computers and the web replacing pencil pushers and salesmen, or bulldozers and trucks replacing laborers and wheelbarrows, we are punished by our success. Offsets like tax incentives to hire, R & D money for innovation, tuition assistance to compete globally, infrastructure improvements that we need anyway, green jobs, trade restrictions and subsidies etc., will only slow global descent in jobs. The bottom line is socialism paid for by the remaining giants of industry with corporate tax increases, or maybe WWIII waged by the Haves on the Havenots, or a plague. That’s progress.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  75. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio


    I suspect what can be said with a good deal of validity is that in the perspective of those inside the "beltway" if unemployment remains high it is a good thing. In a business world competition is supposed to be good ! Competition for unemployment benefits will be up and competition for employment will be up. It's a Win-Win situation !

    June 11, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  76. RickFromDetroit

    If high unemployment is here to stay, then we spent the last 30 years setting up our economy backwards, which I have said for some time. I personally think that in the short term [10 to 20 years] we will survive with our capitalistic policies of privatization, but Fortune Magazine appears to be looking well beyond this time span, and it is not too late to begin changing for the future.

    Over the past 100 years, machines have been replacing humans in every aspect of the work force, and if someone were to make a comparison of the last 100 years to the next 100 years, it would be fairly simple to see that we need to find ways to put the machines to work while we pay the humans.

    If we do not provide the humans with money, then the 70% of the US economy that is fueled by consumer spending will run out of gas and our tax revenues will go with it!

    June 11, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  77. Jim in Alabama

    Jack, many of the jobs which have been lost won't come back. As technology increases and worker are replaced by other means, workers will have to retool so to speak to become marketable in the world economy. Our disgraceful education system will certainly not help that situation along with so many drop outs and lazy workers. We are getting our butts kicked by third world countries now and I can't see that changing unless other things change as well.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  78. Michael Armstrong Sr. Tx.

    Jack I myself never depended on some one else to give me a job I made my own job I became an appliance repairman and it served it's purpose being self employed isnt that hard to do all you need is the courage to try I think America will be just fine when the people learn how to fend for themselves .

    June 11, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  79. Bruce

    Jack, it is here. We have entered a depression and no one will admit it.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  80. Zach - DC

    Technology did'nt take the jobs lost during this recession. It was a result of the housing market bubble popping. Actually, the firms hiring Americans right now are mostly tech companies. Stop fear mongering.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  81. Ruby Zimmerman

    We are merely experiencing the affects of overpopulation. World population keeps exploding, while the efficiency of computers keeps eating up more jobs. The only solution: birth control.

    Champaign, IL

    June 11, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  82. Greg H - Minneapolis

    Jack, if unemployment is here to stay, the first thing that we the people should do is add every member of Congress, along with the President to the list of unemployed. They are in a position to do something about it, and yet all we get is what they THINK will help get themselves reelected. But come November, many will be in for a rude awakeining, and those who remain have ONE CHANCE to get it right or they too will be gone!!

    June 11, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  83. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Employment will never improve as long as we keep living and trying to repair a past that is dead.

    We are in an evolutionary change that will move us all forward if we embrace this new era with a vengence, and bury the past.

    New technology, new manufacturing, new consumption is staring us in the eye, yet we spend our time and money trying to resurrect the past and bickering with one-another.

    When we all become enlightened, and when we all return to virtue, we will prosper.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  84. Stephanie

    So there is less work for humans to do – why is that a bad thing? If we shared work (and the results of work – i.e. money/resources) more broadly, there wouldn't be a problem – and we could all work less. But who would lose in that scenario? Corporations and those who control them.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  85. Aaron Miller

    All this really means is that we are over-populating our country. Maybe capping the population (oil spills too) is a good idea.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  86. Karl

    It has nothing to do with technology. Everything I buy says made in China! Why? Just bring them back here and make all the products here. When will the American people stand up to information that is not true?

    June 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  87. in Woodstock GA

    IMHO it may well be that high unemployment is the new norm.

    Perhaps it will ease once all the "Baby Bpoomers" die off and if all the illegals just go home.

    But if not we need to decide, as a nation, what we will do for those who just cannot find jobs. Will we treat them with respect and provide some sort of income so they can live a decent life? Or will we turn on those people, call them lazy and shiftless, and treat them as second class citizens?

    I would like to think we would be NICE, but right now, with the unemployment so high already, I fear that the reverse will happen. Already those who lost their jobs and subsequently everything they had) through no fault of their own, are being called lazy and a drag on society.

    For those just about at retirement age it will be worse, as they are not eligible for Social Security or even early retirement, but they will be discriminated against in hiring because of their age.

    This is a very sad situation and one which can either show our country to be good, or really mean.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  88. Rick Aluise

    The new normal is financial mismanagement and living on borrowed dollars and borrowed time, all of which will contribute to a collapse in both the private and public sector if it continues unabated.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  89. Chris Driscoll

    Right on the money Jack! Automation should be a dream come true for working people. It should mean more leisure time, more time for family, friends and community. However, in our monopoly-controlled economy, it only means more unemployment, more depression, more poverty. It's a crazy system that could easily be fixed with a strong social safety net, and a government pledge to each citizen of a job or a guarenteed income.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  90. Mary

    I think the work ethics of many Americans has a lot to be desired, when friends are supposed to be working they are playing games on facebook. This has to change.

    Many Americans did not want to do the labor intense jobs, many involved in farming, many farmers and many other industries have the illegal aliens doing these jobs. The American people may not have an option but to dig in and do some of these jobs.

    In Germany they had the Polish people coming to do the unpopular jobs until they had a very high unemployment and had to deport the Polish people and do the jobs themselves.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  91. Robert Potvin West Brookfield, Mass.

    BIG BUSINESS has no loyalty to the U.S. Flag! What if Unemployment creeps up to 15%? Today's technology combined with China's voracious appetite for everything tells me we are in "deep doo-doo" for the long haul.'Buy Gold!" But then again we are a Mighty force to reckon with as we have the biggest bombers!

    June 11, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  92. A. in DFW

    It's time for a population reduction program. Free birth control and free sterilization. Tax incentives to promote childless marriages. Euthanasia centers for those who wish to control when they die. A huge benefit to population reduction is the elimination of global warming and the elimination of the destruction of the earth's environment by humans.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  93. Lyn

    Well they can always move to Aizona and work in the fields.. They will have to work along with Hayworth and Mccain though If they get defeated and Joe Apricio will be picking veggies there too. Maybe they can be fitted with pink unders!!! Jokeing aside.
    What did they expect to happen when they sent good jobs out of our great country? I can rememer when we had all kinds of job opportunities. You could get a job in a manufactoring, steel mills, on the river, coal mines, clothing mills, and also make a good living being self employed. I don't think it will ever be the same. From Reagon thru Bush # 2, jobs flew out the door.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  94. Lew in No. Va.

    Jack, thanks for raising a tough question that the media and politicians so far have utterly ignored. Competent scientists and engineers believe that by the middle of this century technology will displace nearly all human labor. Whether they are off by a decade or so, the trend is clearly heading that way.

    Kurt Vonnegut wrote a novel in the 1950s about this sort of future. People in that decade may have overestimated the impact of automation, but it is now imminent. Read Vonnegut's "Player Piano" and weep.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  95. Steve, NY

    High unemployment is here to stay. You're going to have anarchy in this country. Buy some land and some guns to protect yourself .
    The government and the unions need to understand that raising the minimum wage constantly without real needed skills makes you obsolete. The Democrats as an example love to raise the minimum wage every year to make themselves popular and get the poor people to vote for them, not realizing that those people without skills are pricing themselves out of the market. Nobody wants to hire them. That's why you get robots , they're cheap and they don't go on strike.
    Basically the Government and the unions need to wake up. You're going to have in this country the rich and the poor and the cuttroats unless we elect leaders with vision.
    Also as an example IBM, GE, Microsoft,etc pays their engineers on the average of $100,000 a year in the states. Building a plant in China and hiring engineers to do same job , they pay the same engineer $5,000 a year.
    Ir you are CEO of a company , it's a no brainer you build plants in China.
    Again the bottom line is you need leaders with vision and logic. Guess what there are none around and even if they wetre the voters are stupid they get duped and vote for the con artists. That's why you need good reporters and honest journalists with vision to expose this stuff.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  96. Adrian

    I'm a truck driver and I don't see any robot taking over any time soon. If they ever do, I'll move into the wilderness and never go near a road again. Until then, maybe cutting back on spending (wars, helping out every country in need), might be in order, and maybe the "american way of life", the "gotta have everything and gotta have it now", might change to "do I really need it and will I use it 2 weeks down the road?"

    June 11, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  97. Bob Hughes

    Those minds who are currently employed finding technological advances should be reemployed with a new goal... discover technologies that will employ more people.

    The Department of Labor needs to have a first priority goal: Find jobs for our laborers! We may need to go over to the model of some European nations and have the government invest in new industry as stockholders. When they do they have a voice as to keeping jobs at home.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  98. Diana In West Virginia

    what do all of that have had our unemployment to run out and still have no job in sight suppose to live on welfare then there goes all that that say welfare people do not deserve welfare they should be out working I refuse to use these self service checkouts at the stores and etc because I believe that by using them you are helping to keep people unemployed it is getting worse every day

    June 11, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  99. Fox

    Unemployement maybe a problem but it is equally important to know that our economy is 75% on consumption of goods. So even if tech. replaces jobs the robots or whatever will never be consumers so it will be impossible for us to not have new jobs to replace outdated ones.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  100. Linda Richards

    Unfortunately, not only is higher unemployment here to stay but those employed will be working at lower pay and with less benefits. Having shipped all our jobs overseas and eliminated most employer paid pension plans, low-paid workers will be hard pressed without the help of the government. Retirees that didn't work for a union or the government will be screwed because they'll need all of their money for health care. The net result of buying low-cost goods is that we are putting Americans out of work and this generation will need help from a government that is already overextended when they try to retire with no income–probably eligible for Social Security at the age of 100 by then. You don't need to be an economist or a genius to see the writing on the wall. Linda in Woodbury, NJ

    June 11, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  101. Greg Waters

    Technology has always changed the job market from the cotton gin to the automobile to the computer. No use complaining about it, you have to learn to adapt. After all, Jack would your CNN gig even exist without the current technology that allows viewers to respond instantly to questions you pose? How many people have you unemployed who would have to create content for you if blogs and instant messaging technology did not exist?

    June 11, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  102. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    When there's a God, there's a way!

    June 11, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  103. Phil


    I am 25 year old and have given some thought to the fact that relatively high unemployment is here to stay. My feeling is that there is currently a glut in the workforce with many people that were due for retirement and have put it on hold because they saw their 401k dive, plus the size of my generation entering the workforce, not to mention technological improvements and corporate profits that are being shown by the forced fast of the supposedly "great" recession.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  104. Harry Wilson

    Jack, Perhaps we should start thinking of a 5 or 6 hour work day and spread the jobs around.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  105. janet - georgia

    Jack –
    Unemployment will continue as long as government checks are being handed out. Many of these lazy and unambitious people could find jobs but they don't want them. When I was growing up any job was a "good job" and until this mentality returns things will continue to get worse. I personally know of those who've been slurping from "the trough" for 3 years and will not take a job paying low wages. Why should they??

    June 11, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  106. jay in anaheim california

    If you were to round up and deport every single illegal immigrant, then there will be easily millions and millions of jobs ripe for the taking by honest clean living americans. But is anyone willing to pick vegetables, fruit, wash cars, and do landscapping, I don't think so and that is a sad state in america. We have become a lazy society jack and there is sad statement if there ever was one

    June 11, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  107. John

    I've heard the sky is falling too, and the seas are turning to oil (o wait bad example). Look how about we get off our collective asses and figure out the next big thing (i.e. clean energy, space exploration, quality and smart health care at reasonable costs) instead of running around crying the sky is falling.

    Look at the bright side of your prognostication...more unemployment = greater malnourishment = earlier mortality = social security and medicare can be saved! I dont have to outrun the bear I only have to outrun the guy without the job.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  108. T. Santana

    As an educator, I constantly battle with my superiors about incorporating the teaching of technlology in my English classroom. Many of them still look at teaching kids to use and demonstrate knowledge and skills acquired through the use of technology as "fluff" or that it "lacks rigor." If we don't change this mindset in a very real way in our classrooms, we will be sending many more workers into a technlogy-inundated workforce for which they are ill-prepared to succeed. Therefore, we will continue to sustain this high level of unemployment. I'll do my part to prepare my students whatever the cost and no matter how many feathers get ruffled.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  109. Ronda (from Canastota, NY)

    Jack, 50 years ago the idea that machines could take over the work of humans was fodder for science fiction, and people laughed at that. It's beginning to happen now, and people aren't laughing. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. At the rate we're going, if man-made and natural disasters continue, we won't have to worry about unemployment because there won't be any people left. We will have destroyed ourselves. I guess Nostradamus was right.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  110. Gary in Pa

    Jack, As a 59 year old unemployed manufacturing-based engineer, I have come to the conclusion that the US economy has been forever changed. And it is not the result of any Democratic or Republican politician, it has been the fault of the American people. After WW2, the US economy rebuilt the manufacturing base of Asia and Europe, which subsequently built the manufacturing base of China, India, etc. While this was happening, the US put its faith in academia, with their theory on manufacturing. And their theory is just that, theory. Just look at the policies of this administration, pure theory. Can you any wonder why are economy is flat.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  111. Alex Landi Mt.Shasta, CA

    Jack- Permanently high unemployment rates will be a major impetus to send the illegal immigrants home and opening up all jobs for Americans and other legal residents. Illegal immigrants take millions of jobs and not just those that "Americans won't do." Americans will have to be willing to take whatever jobs that are available or find ways to start their own businesses. In times of high unemployment there is no justification for the presence of illegal workers.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  112. Jon

    For at least 30 years, technologists have been telling everyone that would listen that machines would soon replace the majority of labor-intensive jobs, and that continued employment for Americans was going to require a renewed dedication to education in the fields related to the development and management of these new systems.

    Did we listen? Of course not. We gutted our education system, which is still based on the industrial needs of an 19th-century economy in the first place. We have failed to invest in what could have saved us, and now we're decades behind most the the rest of the industrialized world, which is itself decades behind reality.

    If you think it's bad now, give it another 30 years. Thanks to our particular sentimental form of social conservatism, we lack the courage to face our future as it is, instead subconsciously engaging in a constant effort to reproduce our myopic memories of the 1950s. Brave new world, indeed.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  113. Welfare Fairy

    Unemployment is here to stay! Never will we return to low unemployed until be regain our manufacturing abilities. Flipping burgers just won't cut the mustard any more.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  114. James

    Absolutly it's here to stay as long as we the people allow people and companies like BP do their handy work. First, they raise gas price to $5.00 a gallon then, they have this spill and it's like a deer in headlights on what to do. As companies tighting their belt b/c they dont wanna lose money, we the people are the ones left holding an empty bag.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  115. Kevin in CA

    I disagree with your premise. High unemployment is in large part a result of globalization, not solely a result of technological displacement. That be-as-it-may, it is fair to say that high unemployment is here until the baby-boomers are largely out of the workforce ... or until the USA starts making things again.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  116. Duan - The Business Owner

    Jack, the solution is simple. We need a big piece of legislation that allows entrepreuers and small businesses the conduit to do business globally, only a small part of our economy is "selling" something to those abroad. I support Obama, but we should take a piece of thinking from Rudy J. and Mike Bloomberg. And secondly, a unified Internet ecommerce tax, its money on the table to super charge the economy and reduce the debt. This is a BUSINESS state of mind.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  117. Bill walsh

    Of course there's going to be less jobs in the future! Robots will replace most manual labor jobs. The answer is education, we need smart people who can create solutions for big problems and have the robots do handle the manual labor.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  118. Gary

    One of the things that has happened in the past few years and will probably increase is the rapid rate of change in technology.

    What does that mean for unemployment?
    For those coming out of college there will be jobs and possibly plenty of them. But, when these same people reach middle-age they will no longer be able to find work because the technology they know will disappear and companies will hire recent college grads. Vicious circle.

    Keeping up will be more difficult for the workers with new technology is a 2 headed dragon. 1 )They will be locked into maintaining existing systems based on older technology to keep a company running and not able to be educated or get experience on the new technology.
    2) their salaries and benefits will be higher then what a new hire will get thereby making it more attractive to hire the younger worker

    June 11, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  119. Dan Drummonds

    We can only hope thaty the unemployment rate remains as low as 10 percent!!! I'd say it is the lowest it will ever be. We should prepare for a settle in at around 14 percent.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  120. Roy

    If you ship jobs offshore without taking the employees with them, what is left behind is unemployment. Why would it take a genius to realize that?

    June 11, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  121. Steve S

    Like the story of the poor lemming I suppose those unemployed will be jumping off the cliff in hope of something else only to drown out in the waters. Hopfully a 'new new deal' will get many back to work repairing this countries infrastructure.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  122. Annie, Atlanta

    It is, until countries like China and India start paying living wages. And it looks like workers in China, at least, may be starting to get tired of their obscenely cheap wages.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  123. Hoppy

    Of course high unemployment is here to stay. Some of us have known this for quite some time, so it's not a big news flash. The true unemployment numbers are much higher than the statistics indicate, and have been for years. I'm personally acquainted with people who not only have never had a job, have never looked for one.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  124. Bobby Pesare

    Hey Jack, it's already here, I'm 50yrs old, High school grad. which means absoutly nothing. I worked in restaurant most of my life, but they only want younger cheeper help. I got my real estate lic, did ok during the boom , now it not worth the paper it was written on. I started a decorative finishing business in 07, had to go out of business this year due to the ecomony... I'v been out of work for 6 mo. I have applied for everything possible. I live in a small town in central Florida, I don't know what else to do. If I could sell my house I would move, but good luck w/ that
    Bobby Ocala

    June 11, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  125. Mel Oster

    I usually take an optimistic view on things but this time I believe that we are burying our heads in the sand concerning the unemployment issue. I believe that we will not return to the previous economy we had and the present economy will continue for years to come. Maybe get even worse. Unfortunately we will not remember the present times as the 'good old days'. I guess if we didn't bury our heads it would be just too much to face. Let's pray that the sand isn't soaked with oil at least. What a mess we're in.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  126. Fred

    If such is the case, I'd say look for lower living standards and a declining population. In the absence of other positive, intervening factors to correct high unemployment, attrition will effectively pull the numbers in line.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  127. Beth Stannard


    As an Accountant, I have worked hard to streamline processes, improve efficiency, and utilize technology to cut costs for my employer. Consequently I worked myself right out of a job! Maybe I should apply for a government job where this type of innovation and hard work is frowned upon!

    June 11, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  128. Ken in NC

    If high unemployement expects to stay around for a while, it will have to pay more than it does now.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  129. Delia, Katy, TX

    I realize there is a possibility that you are correct and that this is now the norm. In almost 30 years of working, this is the first time I've collected unemployment. I feel no sense of worth or honor. Will the government basically just hand out prozac to stem the depression we feel?

    June 11, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  130. Lois from Tucson

    As more are unemployed, they start "dropping" things they can't afford anymore...like their cable or satellite connection. People have to pay for water, electricity, food, insurance, etc. But, Jack, I'm afraid as more continue to be unemployed for longer stretches, they just won't be able to watch you anymore.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  131. gjs238

    One way to mitigate this may be to enact a shorter workweek. With workers working less hours more workers would be needed. Of course, this increases benefits costs for employers, so they will be against the idea.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  132. Anna in Itasca, Ill

    Unemployment will stay high because we send money to China to produce the junk and they lend us money to buy this junk. I save my money by not buying made in China.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  133. Chris - Denver

    If we insist that china float its currency, employment will come back, as US manufacturing will be competitive again. If they refuse, we should de-value our currency. Yes, prices in the US would rise in this scenario, but not as fast as wages, as the economy returns to full employment. The current account deficit is an imbalance which impedes our economic progress, more so than illegal aliens (who are consumers as well as workers, after all), taxes, or any other of the popular bogeymen.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  134. Gary

    Can not blame Obama 100% for this one.

    It was stems form Bush and his Republican's plus a few democrats, pushing thru MAFTA, and all the trade bills that helped big corporations plus all the visas such as H1B.

    H1B allowed 60,000 to come in each year and stay for 6(?) years then they took the jobs back with them. When Microsoft and IBM and other companies said they needed more a new visa type (L1?) was created to bypass the numbers limit.

    Need to have a good old fahion import tariff and make companies pay big bucks when they 'cannot find an qualified American'. It will not hurt the American trade, the idea of world trade and world market is a myth from the e Economists and egg heads.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  135. Gigi Oregon

    I think more and more will go overseas for employment. I didn't realize it until last year how many of our extend family are going overseas to find jobs. Brazil, Australia and England.. I believe Mexico and Canada may be another place to transplant. I think the American greed has shot its self in the foot. We are spending less and shoping at local business and thinking twice before spending. We moved to a local credit union from a large bank. It will become worse if the government doesn't start taking care of the people first and punish corruption in corporate America.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  136. william ryals

    High unemployement is here to stay unless we shorten the work week to 32 hrs and limit the maximum work week to 40 hours. It may tighten people's budgets but it is better than having high unemployment rates and corresponding high government benefit programs. The other thing we in the united states can do is encourage new manufacturing here by requiring retailers to buy a percentage of their resale goods in the form of american made products.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  137. Jim Blevins

    This is certainly the question of our time. Stated differently, we can meet all of our needs with a fraction of our population. Problem is, wealth is so uneven, that some people are totally controlled by a lack of money and a few people have far more than they know what to do with. Lots of things can be done beyond meeting basic needs (e.g. green economy) but we need more than our current economic model to achieve the best result.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    June 11, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  138. R

    I don't think high unemployment will last forever. We need more green jobs that can't be shipped over seas and send the illegals back where they came from. We all new it wouldn't get better overnight. We had one foot over the cliff for crying out loud.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  139. Thomas in Abilene,Texas

    Perpetual high unemployment plus near-zero planning for future energy needs and environmental protections all point to the same thing- a Congress AND White House with no sense of urgency and little real vision for the future of America's children .Scary, isn't it?

    June 11, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  140. Chaney, La.

    When we offer Corporations all sorts of tax breaks to locate in our communities, theres ground breaking and big congrats, smile,hand shakes, and as soon as the breaks run out they are gone and move to Mexico.. and its another 100-200 people unemployed. This is happening all over america...its treasonous they care about the bottom line not America's success.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  141. patty washington state

    We have no strategic national trade policy which has allowed corporations to decimate our country's jobs and let countries like China manipulate their currency for the last ten years. Our country's corporations have no sovereign loyalty just payouts for their investors that is in direct opposition to our national interest. Just look at all the investments by our corporations into countries with dirt wages and disasterous environmental policies and questionable products imported into our country We have made getting a college degree only for the rich and if you get a degree and graduate you're chances of a job are minimal since H1-b visas have skyrocketed with low wage Chinese and Indian workers taking the jobs in the computer field. We need to start investing in our country and its citizens to plan for a sustainable future.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  142. ben stockton, calif

    as long as we keep supporting foreign countries like israel and others we will stay stagnant as we are. obama wanted to be president and now look how bad it is for the unemployed. be careful what you ask for. bank bailouts , corporate welfare, saving the auto industry is not helping main street america. damn it, get the people back to work and send ALL illegal immigrants back to their country. watch the country bounce back!!

    June 11, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  143. Harry

    Technolog and ever increasing productivity are the cornerstone of capitalism. Only a few jobs are needed to produce goods for an entire nation. What is the rest of the population to do? "Let them eat cake!"

    June 11, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  144. Don Gordon, in Santa Fe


    Constitutionally I'm an optimist, but I am also a historian.

    Human beings have NEVER not DONE anything they learned they COULD do. (Enter here the mad scientists of '50s sci-fi movies.)
    So...remind me to leave the country the day before we "close" the oil spill with an A-bomb.)

    As for your employment question, expect the "new normal" to become the Permanent Normal (until at least our down-and-out educational system produces new generations of hi-tech wizards, mad or otherwise).

    June 11, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  145. ~BEVERLY~Mystic,Iowa

    We'd better all make certain that our jobs aren't "last century", (i.e. outdated & UNSAFE: FOSSIL FUELS, NUCLEAR), & learn all we can about ALWAYS safe, clean jobs of the future. There will always be jobs for smart, imaginative inventors, & those who think outside the box.

    Turn off the television, & work on solving our many problems. You don't need a good education. With a bit of thought & imagination, the possibilities are endless. (Steve Jobs, Kevin Costner). Your ideas could change the world, & you'll never need a "proper" job again.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  146. Kate Lerner

    Now you are finally addressing the matter at hand. Its about the story of honoring and protecting greed as if our survival depended on it. I suppose most will probably try to blame it on the one presently at the helm. But this has been a long time coming. We finally have a voice of reason at our helm and we should all grow up and adjust. There is so much more to life than hedging against others. Notice how we come alive when we actually help each other. Notice that ideas to save money become the reasons we can't make money any more. We need to learn to thrive on more selfless motives. Maybe then we can come up with sustainable enterprise in our great nation of possibility.

    Kate in California

    June 11, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  147. Gus Delaloye

    Our standard work week is forty hours. It has been 60 hours then 48 hours now it's 40 hours and it has been there since in the 40's. It has changed before why can't it change again.

    Are the people the servants of the economy, or is the economy to serve the people. Who/what is soverign.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  148. Metal Mike Bristol,TN

    The great thing about being human is our ability to think and divulge our observations to others. In the last 100 years, our technological progress has increased at an exponential rate. However, there is still a barrier between what we observe as reality and the actual reality of the world. Our ability to do work as a single human has diminished. There is not enough work required to occupy the time of everyone who is alive. Once people realize that we are are all in this together, maybe something will happen.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  149. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    not only do jobs in some fields will end up being replace by technology but we have to find solutions for an aging population as well as for younger generations...otherwise we will all end up having robots creating our depends and having a robot at home or nursing home installing it! No!

    Seriously, lots of challenges to face while creating new work ahead because we must look inside our own country's vast potentials in various fields as well as vast potentials from outside our country to see opportunities from and for the young and the old! Take care!

    June 11, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  150. Rick McDaniel

    That would realize my greatest concerns.

    Perhaps that will not happen, but it will take some hard headed international politics, on manufacturing to get us back in the game, and our current leadership will NOT get us where we need to go.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  151. joe

    If 10% unemployment sticks around for a while, what is the government going to do about our crippling educational systems? In the past, motivated, educated people helped to create new and innovative ideas that worked to help elevate this nation back to the top and thus boost the economy.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  152. jo from Arizona

    I've been waiting for this issue to be acknowledged as a realistic possibility for several years. I work for an airline and have already seen technology serve as an alternative to employee staffing. Also, consider the growth of the outsourcing business to Indonesia, India and Central America, which is also technology related. I am surprised by the lack of discussion about the impact of these two variables on our unemployment situation. Between the technology and the outsourcing, I think unemployment will only widen in the future, and I'm not sure any one human being, including any President, will be able to turn it around.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  153. steve- virginia beach

    Fewer jobs for a growing population and greater dependence on tax dollars for government assistance is a recipie for a collapsed economy hence collapsed government. We can only hope that we don't innovate ourselves to the point that noone can afford to buy anything although some might relish a former CEO standing behind them in a soup line.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  154. Alex in Wisconsin

    Maybe when this message finally hits home, the American people will stop insisting that keeping jobs here means appeasing businesses that want to raise costs while lowering quality. Maybe then we can get around to developing new industries and let the dinosaurs of big oil, newspapers, and other old fashioned industries finally go extinct.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:53 pm |