PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Economists say we’re having a “jobless recovery” because business has begun expanding again but unemployment remains high.
New jobs are opening, but they’re not the same as the jobs that were lost in the recession.
Dan Pickering (above left) spent 22 years making transmissions in the Philadelphia plant of Rexnord Industries, until Rexnord sent the jobs elsewhere.
“They were outsourced to… a lot of them were sent overseas,” Pickering says. “Everything was supposedly done cheaper anywhere else.”
Rexnord, based in Milwaukee, refused to give an interview for this story, but it’s very likely those jobs will never come back — which is why some economists worry that unemployment may stay permanently high despite the economic recovery.
But perhaps it doesn’t have to be that way. George Zauflik (right), vice president of Cardone Industries, says his company is hiring.
“We’re able to continue to employ as many people as we have in Philadelphia and also grow outside of Philadelphia,” he told KYW Newsradio recently.
Cardone Industries is the largest manufacturer remaining in Philadelphia, with 3,500 jobs here.
Zauflik says Cardone, which retools automotive parts, has also retooled many of its workers, shifting them into new jobs rather than laying them off.
“We have a Cardone training department that has many training courses available to help our people develop,” he says.
Cardone, though, is unusual in its effort to maintain employment here. Many displaced workers are on their own, and, looking at where the jobs are, there seems to be two ways to go: upgrade your skills and qualify for jobs in information technology or health care or biotech, or settle for underemployment.
Dollar Stores, for example, ranks high on the nation’s list of top employers.
For his part, Dan Pickering is aiming for a better career by getting retrained for telecommunications.
“I’m just looking forward to getting back to being a productive worker,” he told KYW Newsradio recently. “I’m praying.”
Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio 1060.