Jobless Recovery or Fundamental Shift?

Thursday, March 11, 2004 | 06:57 AM

Wharton catches up:

"The U.S. economy may be undergoing some sort of deeper change – the tectonic plates of the economy may be shifting, permanently altering the employment landscape. These sorts of shifts, often hastened by technology, happen in economies, and when they do, they can cause dislocation.

“Maybe what we are seeing is fundamental transformation, but so what?” asks Paul Tiffany, a business historian and Wharton adjunct professor. “In the late 19th century, we saw the same kind of change when the U.S. textile industry migrated from the Northeast to the South. Southern workers got lower wages and were non-union and that was perceived as more conducive to business.” Former textile centers such as Lowell , Mass. , were hollowed out, as textile makers moved their operations to places such as Greensboro and Burlington , N.C. Over time, though, other industries developed in the Northeast to fill the void.

The difference today is that the job shifts are across national, rather than state borders, Tiffany says. But the underlying process of capital finding the lowest costs."

More on this later . . .

Puzzling through the Jobless Recovery -- Or Is It a Fundamental Shift?

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