Admittedly, I have a small phobia of ants but their ability to work together and just do what needs to be done is something to behold. They follow their destined roles to build the colony and find food. At times companies seem to function in the same manner. Workers go along and do their work – for employers it would be ideal if they did not ask questions and just did their duties. Nonetheless, they build and fulfill their duties as they are able.
Worker ants, or bees if you prefer, are busy being more productive than ever before.
One of the great surprises of the economic downturn that began 27 months ago is this: Businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.
That means high-level gains in productivity — which in the long run is the key to a higher standard of living but in the short run contributes to sky-high unemployment. So long as employers can squeeze dramatically higher output from every worker, they won’t need to hire again despite the growing economy.
So a fellow worker ant is running around a little quicker and find a little more food and forcing other to remain unemployed or expendable. The unemployed ant is just not needed for the colony and would be a waste of valuable resources.
With that comes slower job creation and the possibility that it could take more than a decade to recover from the Great Recession. According to the chart above it could take six years even if we are some how able to sustain the best job growth average we’ve had in the last 20 years – but we would need to do it six years running!
What is there to do? Sitting here at the Clinton Global Initiative – America leaders from around the country are sitting in rooms together trying to do figure it out. The plenary sessions are leaving more to be desired. Their focus seems to be on longer term projects and coming up with smaller initiatives that serve as tests before moving into a larger scale model.
That is not going to get people into full-time jobs – there are more than 25 million people who need one! They are looking for a leg up right here and right now. This conference is certainly not for their short-term futures but more so for long-term possibilities for them and their children.
© Aaron Krager 2008-2013 | Have any questions? Send me an email.