Friday, October 8, 2010

Reporter's Notebook

Steve McDonagh can be reached at

It’s about JOBS!

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. It’s all about Jobs and I am not talking about Steve Jobs and Apple. Although, there is certainly a segment of our populace that hangs on every new “Jobs Report” (ie. giant self serving commercial) so that they don’t miss out on being one of the first to have Apple’s latest and greatest innovation. But that is another column!

Nope, I am talking about rent paying, milk buying, college tuition paying jobs. The experts told us last month that the Great Recession was over almost a year ago! Of course none of the experts have to go out and look for a job in the current economy, nor does it appear that they consider unemployment a key factor in determining whether or not we are in or out of a recession

A long winded diatribe on the vagaries of the various indexes and measurements used to determine the current state of the US economy would be not only too long for this column but incredibly boring to most of us. But suffice it to say that the metrics used by the experts, from this layman’s point of view, appear to ignore the real world metrics of shorter work weeks, lower pay, laid off teachers, higher prices for milk and gasoline, longer waits on the customer service phone line.

Jobs. It’s all about jobs and the ability of our economy to create and sustain them. A government report out today stated that 58,000 jobs were lost in September as school started up again and teachers and other education employees were laid off due to budget shortfalls around the country. There is no need to further analyze the job market for those of us here in Southwest Washington, we all have a relative or friend or a business acquaintance that is out of work and looking for a job.

Jobs. It is the only thing that is going to bring us out of the Great Recession that ended a year ago! Until we can put people back to work and keep them working it seems that the economy is going to sputter along. To create these jobs we need to have government start rewarding businesses that are leading in innovation and that create jobs and keep jobs here instead of shipping them overseas. We as business owners and consumers need to support businesses that are creating jobs in “our economy.” The global economy is a reality and is here to stay, but if you don’t have a strong local, regional and national economy you can’t be a meaningful participant in that global economy. The only way to have that strong economy is by creating more JOBS!