PARIS — While the euro zone has been transfixed lately by the Cyprus meltdown, another and potentially bigger European crisis has continued to simmer: record-high unemployment.
Both the jobless rates and the number of unemployed are the highest Eurostat has recorded in data that reach back to 1995, before the creation of the euro.
Among Greek youth, the jobless rate has hit a staggering level, 58.4 percent.
By DAVID JOLLY
New York Times
Published: April 2, 2013
Last week, President Obama proposed an initiative to map the complete structure and activity of the brain. "As humans we can identify galaxies light-years away," he said. "We can study particles smaller than an atom, but we still haven't unlocked the mystery of the three pounds of matter that sits between our ears." I'm all in favor of the effort, especially if it can unlock one particular mystery of those three pounds that was very much in evidence in the days following the president's proposal: How can the human brain not perceive something that's right in front of it? I'm talking about the massive jobs crisis
in which the country remains mired.
These are good times
for Libbey, a 125-year-old American glassmaker that nearly went bankrupt four years ago. The company’s shares have risen to almost $20 from below $1, sales of its tableware are at a record high, and its energy-intensive factories saved more than $5 million in 2012 as natural gas prices fell.
PPG Industries is a heavy user of natural gas at its glass factory in Carlisle, Pa. Cheaper gas helps glass makers stay competitive.
Despite all the upbeat news, however, Libbey recently announced it would lay off 200 workers at its plant...
“At the end of the day you still want a strong manufacturing base, but there aren’t as many people on the factory floor.
Indeed, while the sector has added 500,000 jobs since the recession ended and the value of what the nation’s factories churn out is close to a high, there are nonetheless two million fewer manufacturing workers today than in 2007
. Ever since the early 1960s, the share of jobs in manufacturing has been on a nearly uninterrupted downward slope
, now accounting for less than 9 percent of all employment in the United States.
“Because it is automated
, we won’t have to add a lot of employees with the upturn in the construction industry,”...
It’s not that manufacturing itself is disappearing. But nearly all of the American manufacturers that survived the lean years of the last decade are globally competitive companies that depend on high productivity and advanced technology for their success more than masses of assembly line workers.
Rumors of a Cheap-Energy Jobs Boom Remain Just That
By NELSON D. SCHWARTZ
New York Times
Published: April 1, 2013