Does America Still Work?



Source: Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

"The Downsizing of America"

This seven-part series by The New York Times ran the first week of March, 1996 and occasioned wide discussion and debate.

Focusing on the causes and consequences of layoffs, it laid out the anxiety and turmoil in the American workplace and offered real-life experiences of workers and managers.

The series noted that overall unemployment was low, that many more new jobs have been created than old ones lost, and that many companies have large profits. Nevertheless, The New York Times spotlighted how layoffs continue and more and more of the jobs disappearing are those of higher-paid, white-collar employees.

"Anxiety Over Wages Still Justified"

Here economist Jared Bernstein offers counter-evidence and argument to the spring 1996 'good news' reports about the economy from the Clinton Administration and two business groups. (You can check out these reports on the 'Good News' section of this Website).

"The Truth About Social Mobility"

Jeff Madrick (FRONTLINE correspondent for the documentary "Does America Still Work?") interviews Stephen J. Rose, Senior Economist in the Labor Department.

While several studies have claimed social mobility has not changed in recent decades and job switching is no worse than it has ever been, Rose's work on the subject presents evidence that times have worsened.

"Good News for Down and Out, or Is It?"

In this April, 1996 The New York Times article, economist Peter Passell weighs in negatively on the issue of social mobility. He rebuts data published in the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas 1995 annual report, arguing that the bank's study is flawed and used 'unconventional means' to arrive at optimistic conclusions.

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