Tags: Newman | labor | immobility | recovery

Yahoo's Newman: Labor Immobility Hampers Economic Recovery

By    |   Thursday, 23 January 2014 07:05 AM EST

The immobility of labor is putting a damper on the economic recovery, says Yahoo columnist Rick Newman.

"Economists have been puzzled about why the latest recession produced such a feeble recovery, but here's one important new clue," he writes.

"The portion of Americans moving from place to place has fallen close to record lows, inhibiting people's ability to go where the good jobs are or remake themselves in one place after flaming out in another."

Editor’s Note:
18.79% Annual Returns . . . for Life?

William Frey of The Brookings Institution calculates that the internal migration rate totaled only 11.7 percent, in 2012 and 2013, the second lowest level since 1948, Newman says. The nadir of 11.6 percent came in 2011.

Difficult financial conditions are helping to keep Americans from moving, Newman says. "The housing bust, for example, led to double-digit drops in property values in many cities, preventing many homeowners from selling their homes and moving, unless they were willing to bear a big loss."

In addition, many recent college graduates are weighed down with student loans, keeping them chained to jobs that may not pay well, because they are afraid of the uncertainty of a move, Newman says.

Another immobility that has drawn commentators' concern is income immobility — the inability of the poor to escape poverty.

But income inequality is the wrong way to frame the issue, says New York Times columnist David Brooks.

"If we're going to mobilize a policy revolution, we should focus on the real concrete issues: bad schools, no jobs for young men, broken families, neighborhoods without mediating institutions," he writes.

Editor’s Note: 18.79% Annual Returns . . . for Life?

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Economy
The immobility of labor is putting a damper on the economic recovery, says Yahoo columnist Rick Newman.
Newman,labor,immobility,recovery
296
2014-05-23
Thursday, 23 January 2014 07:05 AM
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