Saturday, August 13, 2005

More Americans have jobs today than at any other time in history

At the Wall Street Journal: The Great American Jobs Machine: Employment is higher than at any time in history
But the larger story of American job creation, and its causes, is even more impressive.

First, more Americans have jobs today than at any other time in history. Second, over the past two decades or so, the U.S. has created more than 40 million jobs--twice as many as Europe and Japan combined. And third, the U.S. has one of the lowest jobless rates of all developed nations.
. . .
Part of the explanation for this success is that, especially compared to Europe, the U.S. has imposed fewer taxes and regulations (even though we have plenty) that make it onerous for employers to hire and fire workers. A unique feature of the U.S. economy is that Americans move in and out of jobs--usually to rise up the income elevator--at a rapid and persistent pace. This is the key to the Great American Jobs Machine, and it explains why Europe and Japan should be more like us, and not the other way around.
In the meantime, Paul Krugman's bellyaching that it's an economy driven by real estate, and that "it has been a pretty disappointing recovery", since "we're paying for the housing boom (and the military buildup and tax cuts) with money borrowed from foreigners". To Paul, the glass is always half-empty, isn't it?

Too bad he doesn't read The Economist, which says,
There is much to welcome and little to fear in the economy's current progress.
Looks to me like the glass is more than just half-full.