Keep your resume updated boys and girls! Looks like employment in America is going to be a hard road to hoe in the coming years. We just saw the GDP numbers come out on Friday and economists were bemoaning the sluggish 2.5% Economic Growth Rate. Last quarter it was worse; less than half a percent in growth.
Now I'm not an expert here so I have to go with formulas that all economists accept. One of those truisms is that, just to accommodate new workers entering the work force, America must have a minimum of 4% sustained growth quarter after quarter.
Wow! That got me to thinking; what in the world are we going to do with the new people just entering the work force? Mostly young folks, armed with high school or college degrees. What will they do? And how many are there?
So I googled the phone number of the local business journal here in Phoenix, called them and asked if I might speak with someone on the business staff, preferably someone with a degree in Economics. I was fortunate to get a nice young fella with a Masters Degree in Economics on the horn. I asked him outright if he had seen this morning's GDP numbers. He said he had. I then asked if those numbers gave him cause for concern about our economy. He said it did. I then asked if he had any idea what the average was for new workers entering the work force per year. He said he'd have to get back to me...so I gave him my phone number and awaited his call.
About a half hour later, true to his word, my economist called me back and said that we are currently experiencing 125,000 a month entering the work force. Said that number ebbs and flows based on graduation dates and so forth. I thanked him profusely for taking the time to educate me and hung up.
Then I began extrapolating those numbers over a years time. In essence, we've got roughly 1.7 million spanking new workers entering the work force each year. And if we require 4% GDP growth in order to give these folks a job, and if we're falling between 50 and 75% short of those goals each quarter, what are all these poor folks doing as they await a job so they can pay taxes, pay back their student loans, pay for their spanking new Obamacare medical premiums and set out on a life of their very own?
Based on the hard numbers I garnered it seems Paul Ryan was right; we really do have millions of college graduates who've moved back in with Mom and Dad, and living in the basement! Again, based on the numbers, and the GDP shortfalls over the past five years, not only do we have older people giving up on seeking employment, we've got about ten million young people living in some bizarre Twilight Zone unemployment world! And I can now believe that our "real" unemployment rate is closer to 15% than the 8% numbers the Bureau of Labor Statistics are kicking out each month!
Then I had another thought; what are we going to do about those 10,000 G.I.'s coming home from Afghanistan each month? And what are the remaining 150,000 going to do when we pull out of Afghanistan next year?
And then I had the final nightmare of a question. What will Americans do for jobs when we grant amnesty, citizenship and the right to live and work here for some 20 million illegal Mexicans? What will the unemployment rate be then? And how badly will American wages be suppressed with everyone trying to find a job and willing to take any salary just to get a job?
That prompted me to call back to the nice business journal economist. He sounded like he was having lunch at his desk as he was chomping on something when I posed the question as to what were we going to do with millions of new Mexican American citizens seeking employment. He sounded a bit exasperated and uttered "bingo...the $64,000 dollar question!" I wanted to ask him one more question but didn't want to press my luck and get another smart ass response.
The other question I wanted to ask was not in his area of expertise anyway. That question was, "if we can't provide jobs for our own people, our young people coming out of high school and college, and our young vets coming home from Afghanistan, why in hell is our President and Congress so hell bent on bringing some 20 million illegal Mexicans into an already miserable economy that can't even sustain what we have now?"