Businessweek Archives

Non-Health/Ed/Gov Jobs at 1998 Levels


For my fans who did not like my previous post on health and education—here’s another that you won’t like.

Since 1998, there has been no growth in jobs, with the exception of health, education, and government.

Read that again, and look at the chart.

In February 2009, there were 92 million jobs outside of health, education, and government. That’s just where we were in September 1998.

Over the same period, health, education, and government added 7.2 million jobs (about 1 million of that total were non-education government jobs).

You (yes, you out there) may think that health and education are the least productive sectors of the economy. You may think that they are a drag on the private sector. You may think that the failure and cost of health and education are a cause of the problem, and not a solution.

But the rest of the economy is *not* creating jobs. Not, not, not. And no magic fairy dust can make U.S. corporations create jobs in the short run. It isn’t going to happen.

On the other hand, the American people are willing to pay for access to healthcare and education, even today. And arguably, improving these sectors can pay off with enormous benefits.

This is our economic policy, folks, for better or for worse. More jobs and more spending in health and education. The health-education fiscal policy lever is the way to go.


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