With unemployment at a sickly 9 percent, a renewed push for public service jobs may be just what the doctor ordered.
The Occupy movement has often been criticized for lacking an overarching political message. One of the roots of its discontentment is not so difficult to discern, though: the enduringly high level of under- and unemployment. While the popular debate on the level of unemployment is highly partisan, politicized, and unproductive, Occupy is telling us that we cannot lose sight of the personal cost of unemployment. It also merits a more serious study of why joblessness remains so high. While there are a wide variety of global macro-economic factors that are contributing to the sputtering economic recovery, one process that could be at play is often referred to as unemployment hysteresis. This term describes the way in which temporary shocks to employment levels can cause more long-lasting unemployment.