There's going to be a lot of commentary today on how to create jobs in the next few months. (I have some ideas, too!) But it's also important to look at where job creation is headed over the next few years. Here's a Council of Economic Advisers report that projects the industries with the biggest expected job gains in the next decade. The winners are: Health care, construction on eco-friendly projects, and education. I think this has lessons:
In the next few months, the jobs stimulus bill has a chance to make an important impact on all three sectors. Infrastructure spending and tax credits for weatherizing homes would obviously benefit the construction industry. Moreover, many jobs in health and education services rely on state budgets, which are in such terrible shape that some reports estimate they could bleed up to a million jobs without government assistance. This strengthens the case for a jobs bill that relies on far-reaching state aid to plug these potential losses in industries that show promise over the next decade.
Yesterday, reviewing Christina Romer's op-ed on job creation strategies in the White House, I wrote that the White House clearly wants "to use the job creation bill to build programs that last, houses that last, jobs that last, and infrastructure that lasts." It should also focus on industries with lasting potential to create and hold jobs. A stimulus built around state aid and infrastructure spending would do just that.
Oh and below are two old graphs that explain why tackling unemployment matters politically for Democrats. Your party doesn't stand much of a chance when you're figurehead's popularity is in the dumps. And the president's approval ratings have a habit of tracking unemployment -- even when it goes right into the dumps.