Obama promises more than 600,000 new jobs

The unemployment rate for the nation is now above 9 percent. That’s pretty awful. Pres. Barack Obama isn’t happy about this, either. After all, high unemployment figures are keeping the economy from recovering.

Today, Obama promised that the $787 billion stimulus plan will result in more than 600,000 new jobs this summer.

Federal agencies are expected to spend billions of dollars on public-works projects, schools and summer youth programs. And all these projects will bring jobs, Obama said.

The new jobs will certainly help. But these don’t exactly look like stable, long-term jobs. What the country really needs is for companies to start hiring again.

I wonder, though, if this recession has signifcantly altered the world of business. Will companies that have shed so much of their workforce continue to expect their employees to do more work without any pay increases even after the economy recovers? Have businesses discovered that they can squeeze even more work out of their employers?

I certainly hope not. But as I look at the publishing company where I work, and see the amount of work that our now skeletal staff is turning in, I wonder if my bosses might get used to this.