Archive for the ‘hardhat workers’ Category

Stimulus plan mixes short, long-term job goals

January 31, 2009

No matter the color of your work shirt, this recession is sparing few. From blue collar construction workers to white collar financial sector employees, the economic crisis has dragged a growing swath of American workers into joblessness.

Economic downturns predominantly used to hit blue-collar and young workers. But in this recession, layoffs and business closings are affecting bankers, middle managers, even scientists and journalists.

White collar unemployment jumped 1.6 percentage points — to 4.6 percent — from December of 2007 to December of 2008. But blue-collar workers are still bearing the largest brunt of unemployment, at 11.3 percent.

The shared pain helps explain the varied priorities in the $800 billion-plus rescue package put together by President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. The $50 billion for building roads, bridges and schools addressed the hardest hit of the unemployed first — hardhat workers.

By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writer

But there are also piles of wage-producing money for college-educated workers: $62 billion in the House version for health information and renewable energy technology, improving the nation’s power grid and scientific research. Getting it all to them will take longer.

Policymakers are also counting on greater public acceptance for social spending — on the likes of food stamps, unemployment and health insurance — because the victims of the collapse in housing and credit markets cross socio-economic levels.

“The intensity of where we are right now creates a much larger scale of interest by the public,” said Lawrence Mishel, president of the liberal Economic Policy Institute. “You need many more sectors to recover and broad-based policies for that are a new challenge.”

Republicans complain that too much is being directed to expanding the safety net for assisting victims and argue that tax cuts, particularly those addressed at businesses, will produce more sustainable jobs over the long term.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009013
1/ap_on_go_pr_wh/stimulus_jobs