Tags: Moore | unemployed | job | participation

Guardian Editor Moore: The Unemployed Can't Just Will Themselves a Job

By    |   Thursday, 16 January 2014 07:41 AM

It's a mistake to believe that the unemployed can just pull themselves up by their bootstraps to obtain a job, says Heidi Moore, U.S. economics editor for The Guardian.

In light of recent weak job numbers, one idea that keeps coming up is "that the long-term unemployed are just lazy — that if they wanted to look for work they could, and they're just sitting on the couch and not doing that," she told Yahoo.

"That's really a fallacy."

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The notion could be true in an economy firing on all cylinders, but that's not what we have now, Moore noted.

The fact that the labor force participation rate is at its lowest level since 1978 "means we just don't have a lot of jobs out there," she said.

"And the jobs that we are adding tend to be low-wage and low-skilled, so they're not really the kind that help people get back on their feet."

Non-farm payrolls rose only 74,000 in December, when the unemployment rate was 6.7 percent.

Assessing the December report, Pimco CEO Mohamed El-Erian told Bloomberg TV that it's "somewhere between puzzling and worrisome." It's "puzzling because it is such a strange number," he said. "The 74,000 jobs . . . are inconsistent with lots of other data."

The worrisome side includes the fact that the labor force participation rate matched a 35-year low, El-Erian explained. And the long-term unemployed — those out of work for at least 27 weeks — account for 37 percent of the jobless.

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It's a mistake to believe that the unemployed can just pull themselves up by their bootstraps to obtain a job, says Heidi Moore, U.S. economics editor for The Guardian.
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Thursday, 16 January 2014 07:41 AM
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