The Indicator from Planet Money - Jobs Friday: Better! Still Not Good Tho

It's Jobs Friday! The February jobs report shows signs of recovery, but there's still a long way to go. We talk to three experts about their indicators on how things will change and when.

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hey mon station card is here. This is the indicator from Planet Money. Today's jobs Friday. It's just Friday.

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Labor market is kind of still terrible. So we're not yet going to be blowing the traditional celebratory jobs Friday air horn again. Just yet that said we are.

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I'm closer to airhorn territory the Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released the jobs report for the month of February and it shows the labor market created 379,000 jobs, which is more than a condom is had expected more than twice as many jobs as were created in January. So there might be bigger games to come if Kobe cases keep falling people get vaccinated and the economy continues to reopen that's right. But we also want to keep this in context 379,000 jobs created may sound good. But actually that means that there are still about nine and a half million fewer jobs than a year ago before the pandemic and some of the big disparities in labor market that existed before the pandemic are still there and not getting better last month. For example, the unemployment rate for black workers actually went up and it is now and almost 10% That's just a much higher unemployment rate than for white workers, which is roughly five and a half percent and there is a lot more in this job is very

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So as we often do on jobs Friday, we have asked three of our old faves Friends of the show labor market experts to pick out an indicator from this jobs report that they think is especially worth highlighting. So today on the show new numbers on people working from home what happens when a job search runs long and just how far off is a full recovery. Anyways, all that after a quick break.

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Okay, three jobs Friday indicators from are three jobs Friday experts. Let's do this is Lisa Cook Professor. You cannot mix in international relations at Michigan State University and a longtime friend and show the indicator that I would like to highlight is the long-term unemployed those who have been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer before the pandemic started. There were roughly 1.1 million people who work to Wild long-term unemployed. Now, there are 4.1 million people nearly four times as many degree because it keeps ticking up and it really indicates labor markets gauri means by labor markets scarring. Is it the harm of long-term unemployment goes beyond just not having a job and a steady paycheck. There are also long-term effects to make it harder to re-enter the job market and be productive.

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Loses 1 skills during a. Of long-term unemployment. Let's take for example, if a plumber who is just about to be certified and that plumber for plumbing student Plumbing Apprentice to go into people's houses and work spaces to fix things. You lose hours of practice that you have to have for certification for example, so that's what I mean by skills after thing like the loss of workers Professional Network their contacts, which makes it harder to find new opportunities plus businesses employers often become hesitant to hire someone the longer that person has been unemployed these employers start discriminating against people who have been out of work for a while to get the long-term unemployed back to work. Lisa says, there are some things the government can do like offering incentives for businesses to hire long-term unemployed workers.

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Addition to the obvious thing that would help which is the labor market becoming so strong that companies have to compete to attract workers lots of job openings, but you need some experience. Another thing that could happen is that these people form businesses if we find a way to make that more attractive. I think this is something that could bring the long-term unemployed back into the workforce as well. Next up our second jobs. Friday indicator comes from Adam. Ozimek. Adam is the chief Economist it up work, which is a job posting site where businesses and Freelancers can find each other you also on the bowling alley. Yes, he does talk about the percent of people who are working remotely every month the government ask people with jobs if they are working remotely and specifically the government ask people if they are working remotely because of the pandemic and right now that share of people with jobs were working remotely because of the pandemic is 23% to almost 1

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Four people and that number has held steady for about half a year. If there are also people working remotely who were working remotely before the pandemic Adam says and when you include both groups probably like 40 to 50% of people are working remotely to some extent right now and some of those people are going to come back to the office but I think in the long run we're going to have around 20 to 25% of people working remotely full-time. That's my expectation up to 25% of workers end up working remotely even after the pandemic and that is a huge increase from the world that existed before the pandemic one according to his estimates only 5 to 10% of people working remotely full-time. And I don't think this trend is going to have big economic effects. If I mean that there's a lot less commuting. It's going to mean that there's a lot less need for downtown office space and importantly it's going to mean that a lot of people can live wherever they want and sort of

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Connect the decision of who they want to work for from where they want to live.

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better match between workers who prize the ability to work remotely

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companies who offer it that'll make workers more efficient more productive and to attract the workers that they want. Some companies may end up having to offer the option to work from home as a kind of implicit compensation. Which Adam says is finally Stacy a win for the introvert or day has come I can take us to come will be celebrating, you know, privately. Yeah, exactly analyst jobs Friday expert is Nick bunker. Nick is the economic research director for North America at the indeed hiring lab for years and 7 months. So that's how long it would take to catch up to the pre pandemic Trend in jobs at our current pace of job growth 2020 the year of the pandemic the economy had a lot more jobs back then nearly ten million more jobs and the economy was also creating about 170000 jobs per month.

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Announce the economy has way fewer jobs. And it also missed out on all the extra jobs. That would have been created if the pandemic had never happen. And so Nick wanted to know let's save the economy keeps growing jobs at the same Pace. It did last month, which was 379,000 jobs. How long would it take the economy to catch up to the early trending jobs? And you answer is he said is 4 years and 7 months is a long time. Yeah, and it means that a lot of people in the meantime will be denied a source of income and all the other good things that come with a job and to not get back to that level is just more time of more people in more misery and that's something that we should want to eliminate today's jobs report for February in the appropriate context. Yes job growth was better than in January. But if we want to catch up to the economy we had before the pandemic and we want to do it soon. Then we are going to have to be creating a lot more than 379000 jobs a month. It would have to be

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more like a million jobs per month

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And by the way, if we do get a jobs report with a million jobs created in a month again, I think then we're back. It's going to be so hardcore airhorn. Maybe the whole episode would be an Airborne just an errand and people would understand completely solutely that speaks for itself with help from Gili moon. In fact check by SanSai at it by Jolie Myers and the indicator is a production of NPR.
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