Hire Deficits

Until people start working, the economy won't.

The aftermath of the financial blowout has left employers hesitant about hiring permanent workers. Consumers are buying again, but with high unemployment, flat wages, depressed pensions, and depleted home equity, they aren't buying enough. Managers are working existing employees harder rather than hiring new ones.

For two decades, employers increasingly used outsourcing and off-shoring to cut their labor costs. That trend accelerated after the financial collapse. Many economists wonder whether permanent payroll jobs will ever return to their former level if present trends continue.