A Bit Of Context On 200,000 Jobs

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
Jan. 6 2012 9:52 AM

A Bit Of Context On 200,000 Jobs

1325873308467

Above you'll find employment growth in the 1990s. You'll see that a 200,000 jobs month, though good, is hardly record-setting. And that was at a time when we weren't climbing out from a terrible ditch. Just a reminder that when I say things are improving and are likely to continue improving, that doesn't mean we're living through the best of times or that these policies we're being governed by are working out great. It's clearly logistically possible for a country to add jobs at a much faster clip that we're currently doing and it's possible to do it even without such an enormous overhang of excess capacity. The people in charge should be stepping on the gas and not just congratulating themselves.

One thing you saw here in December is that if suddenly it's Christmas and a bunch of people go buy more stuff, that leads to a hiring surge in the transportation and warehousing of goods. American firms, in other words, still hire people when they have more customers and America still has plenty of able-bodied workers to be hired. If the Christmas demand surge leads to an employment surge, then a demand surge orchestrated during a non-holiday season—by, say, giving ordinary people a bunch of free money—should produce the same effect.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

TODAY IN SLATE

The World

The Budget Disaster that Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

Are the Attacks in Canada a Sign of ISIS on the Rise in the West?

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

Is It Offensive When Kids Use Bad Words for Good Causes?

Fascinating Maps Based on Reddit, Craigslist, and OkCupid Data

Culturebox

The Real Secret of Serial

What reporter Sarah Koenig actually believes.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea

Can Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu Pull Off One More Louisiana Miracle?

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 23 2014 1:51 PM Is This the ISIS Backlash We've Been Waiting For?
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 23 2014 2:36 PM Take a Rare Peek Inside the Massive Data Centers That Power Google
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Oct. 23 2014 1:34 PM Leave Me Be Beneath a Tree: Trunyan Cemetery in Bali
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 23 2014 1:46 PM The Real Secret of Serial Has Sarah Koenig made up her mind yet? 
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 23 2014 11:45 AM The United States of Reddit  How social media is redrawing our borders. 
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.