The unemployment numbers are grim indeed, hitting a 26-year high. Nor will these numbers turn around tomorrow: Companies have learned to survive with a leaner workforce and they will not start hiring until they must. That is why unemployment is always the last economic indicator to rebound. This fact requires the Obama administration to recalibrate its political strategies going forward.
In retrospect, the economic benefits of health care reform should have been highlighted more clearly. With more than thirty million new customers coming their way, surely insurance companies should start hiring soon. More importantly, companies that have foreign competition must recognize that they are at a distinct disadvantage as they face increased health care costs for their employees while the foreign companies against which they must compete do not have any such concerns.