A Modern Employment Misconception

Many of the recent job losses are permanent. They’re structural. It’s not just the good old days, when the company said, ‘Go home and we’ll call you back in a few months.’ No, in many cases, the jobs are gone forever.

It’s not just factory jobs, either. Those jobs were the first to go. The U.S. economy lost millions of its old-line factory jobs over the past 25 years or so. It brought us into the age of the Rust Belt. Some economists and deep thinkers bragged about how this was somehow ‘good’ for America. (Call me old-fashioned, but I could never quite figure that out.)

Now people with white collars are getting hit with permanent job losses in sectors like banking and law. Many parts of the nation’s financial districts are the new Rust Belts of America.

There are former lawyers waiting on tables, stealing jobs from the traditional class of table servers, starving artists. At many silk-stocking firms, even the formerly sacrosanct legal “billable hour” is under attack. And I know doctors and architects who’ve been laid off.

So joblessness is up, and it’s not about to come down anytime soon.