Friday, June 10, 2011

Long term fix for the job market

Great editorial in WaPo this morning about the job market and training. They discuss two basic improvements the government can make that would not be very hard but would have a significant benefit to jobs. One is process-based. As any IE knows, the two things that kill a process are delays and uncertainty. So they suggest that the administration revisit the way that new businesses and new business initiatives are regulated and streamline it so that it is faster and more reliable. The good thing about this is that other than the cost of doing the upfront investigation, it would save money in the long run.

The second recommendation is training-based. Most college graduates don’t have all the skills that companies want (and I’m a professor!!). Even worse, ten years after graduation, by the time their communication and teamwork and leadership skills are finally up to par, their technical skills have gotten old. So they suggest the government support training and retraining programs to solve these two challenges. To make this acceptable to both parties, I would recommend doing it in a way that the private sector decides on the content (because the government is not particularly good at this), but the government perhaps provides matching funds or tax credits to support the programs.

These are just my initial thoughts. I am sure you can all add some additional improvements. Please use the comments section to add.