Emphasis should be on job creation in 2014

As we anticipate ringing in the New Year, it's a sobering reminder that six years have passed since the beginning of the Great Recession, and payroll employment has not yet returned to the level it reached the month before the recession officially began (December 2007).  Granted, the unemployment rate is ticking downward and the monthly increase in payroll jobs has averaged 191,000 during the past year. Even though both are improvements over previous years of the current expansion (which began July 2009), job creation is not enough to overcome the severe loss of jobs during the recession and the meager increase in employment during the first two years of the expansion. Recognizing the need to create jobs, particularly for less skilled workers, Upjohn Institute researchers and grantees have offered a number of proposals throughout this period aimed at increasing labor demand, raising the skill level of the workforce, and finding ways to increase employees' attachment to employers. We offer a few for your holiday reading:

Short-Time Compensation Is a Missing Safety Net for U.S. Economy in Recessions, Katharine G. Abraham and Susan N. Houseman (Employment Research, July 2009)
Short-Time Compensation as a Tool to Mitigate Job Loss? Evidence on the U.S. Experience during the Recent Recession, Katharine G. Abraham and Susan N. Houseman (WP 12-181)