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Over the past decade, European employment has grown by less than 10 per cent, while US employment has grown by 17 per cent, creating more than 2.2m jobs last year alone.

By how much has the working age population grown in the meantime?

For the US, the current number is usually estimated at 150,000 per month, or 1.8 million per year, or 1-1.5% per year, which means that over 10 years, the US have created just enough jobs for its growing population.

In an other thread, the numbers for France and the UK, two of the most dynamic countries, demographically speaking, were +12% and +6% for the working age population over 1994-2003. I seriously doubt that the European working age population has grown by more than 10% in the last 10 years, what with the current population decline and the stagnation that preceded it in most of the other countries.

So Europe can be said to have created MORE jobs than the US, relative to its population.

The US number for the past year (the only good year for Bush on that front in 5 years) barely above the natural growth of the working age population. As Krugan puts in in his latest column:

the administration hailed last month's job growth as something wondrous to behold, yet there were 68 months during the Clinton years when employment grew faster.

America grows while Europe stalls for many reasons, among them disparities in flexibility caused by employment laws. Europe will never recover until employment protection statutes are modernised and politicians restore flexibility to employers and workers.

1994-2003 GDP growth per person:
USA: 2.1%
France: 2%
Germany: 1.2%
Spain: 3%

Growth and stall. Right. Remember this:

Frequent job changes lead to better job matches and higher productivity. In 2004 there were 54m new hires and 51m job separations in a labour force of 147m. Over half these separations were voluntary - people who left jobs because of better opportunities. Younger baby boomers, born in 1957-1964, held an average of 9.6 jobs from age 18 to 36. This turnover is a leading cause of job creation.

51m job separations in a year? I don't see how you get such a high number without counting all the McJobs, student internships and temps. Same thing for that average number of jobs between 18 and 36. How many of these "jobs" are actual jobs, and how many are summer jobs, gigs to pay for your studies or to get started?

Ricardo Caballero, a professor at MIT, has shown that employment protection laws inhibit labour market flexibility, slowing turnover and economic growth, by looking at the effects of job security provisions in 60 countries. He found that the links between hiring and economic growth are slower in countries with high legal protection against dismissal, especially where such protection was enforced.

I like this last sentence "where such protection was enforced". How dare they!? Actually apply laws? What a quaint concept.

But I note that the study is about 60 countries, which is not a serious wayto make a point about Europe and the USA as it includes many developing economies which are too different to be comparable.

Another disadvantage of inflexible labour markets is that they encourage older people to retire early. (...)In 2003, 14 per cent of Americans 65 and older remained economically active, a figure exceeded only by Japan in leading industrialised countries. In France, Italy, Germany, Canada and Australia, only 1 to 7 per cent of older citizens were economically active.

Yep, that's a disadvantage indeed.

In sum, a comparison of US data with countries that have enacted so-called job protection laws shows that these laws increase unemployment, deter the shift of workers from unproductive to productive jobs and discourage the elderly from working. It is ironic that America's supposedly more porous safety net provides more job security than Europe's rigid labour laws.

You only supposedly "proved" that America provides more jobs (although I think I debunked that somewhat), but I don't see how that translates into providing "job security".

Hack. Hack. Hack.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Aug 12th, 2005 at 05:13:22 AM EST

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