August 3, 2009
[efoods]Long after President Barack Obama’s first term ends in 2013, millions of U.S. families will still be paying the price for the recession.
From auto workers in Detroit too old for retraining, to Hispanic migrants in Arizona with no homes to build, to new college graduates competing with experienced workers for scarce jobs, more and more people are facing long-lasting unemployment.
Since the recession began in December 2007, the jobless rate has climbed 4.6 percentage points to 9.5 percent, the biggest jump since the Great Depression. Worse, the mean duration of unemployment is now almost 6 months, the highest on record.
Although Obama frequently points out he inherited the recession from his predecessor, George W. Bush, the fallout will frame his legacy, presenting a quandary for a president elected on a slogan of “Yes We Can.”
Unless Obama figures out how to repair the job market, the can-do attitude sparked by his election may be replaced by despair, leaving deep economic and social scars that undermine his political goals.