James Surowiecki in The New Yorker on unemployment More pressing than the fiscal crisis that dominates Washington is the unending unemployment crisis; there are still nearly 13 million unemployed Americans. "Unemployment doesn't hurt just the unemployed, though. It's bad for all of us," Surowiecki writes. Too much of the current unemployment is long-term, Surowiecki notes, and before long, that cyclical unemployment could turn into structural unemployment, meaning that when the economy returns to good health, the unemployment rate stays high. Structural unemployment results when the long-term unemployed never return to the job market, and the decreased productivity hurts us all. "You’d think that Congress and the Federal Reserve would be straining every sinew to avoid such a fate ... A long-term crisis, after a certain point, no longer seems like a crisis. It seems like the way things are."
Norman Matloff in Bloomberg View on the fate of software engineers Graduating college with a degree in software engineering often means good job opportunities and relatively high pay. But there's a downside. "[T]he profession has devolved in recent years to one lacking in longevity. Many programmers find that their employability starts to decline at about age 35," writes Matloff, a UC Davis professor. He describes causes for this. Employers, for instance, eventually dismiss aging engineers who either don't know the latest coding language or are too overqualified for entry level work. Aging engineers can sometimes graduate into manegerial roles, but there aren't enough of those to satisfy everyone. "If you choose a software-engineering career, just keep in mind that you could end up working for one of those lowly humanities majors someday."