I recently had a conversation with several members of the Workforce Institute Board of Advisers to discuss the impact of the global recession on hourly and low- wage workers. Unemployment in the US has continued to hover around 9.5% (9.6% in the September Bureau of Labor Statistics announcement). Worldwide statistics are similar, with many regions reporting much higher rates. The numbers of people who are underemployed or who’ve given up looking altogether swell those statistics significantly.
The participants in this conversation included:
- Ruth Bramson, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts
- Bob Clements, Senior Partner at the Axsium Group
- Dr. Steven Hunt, Director of Business Transformation at SuccessFactors
- Dr. Robert Yerex, Chief Economist at Kronos
We recorded our conversation, and you can hear their thoughtful responses to a couple of big and tough questions below.
1. What do you think is the risk that the current prolonged recession will lead to the creation of a permanent class of unemployed or underemployed people?
2. What will it take for organizations and government can do to improve the prospects for workers, and thereby for society?
What do you think it’s going to take to accelerate job growth?2