The Public Interest

Who creates jobs?

David L. Birch

Fall 1981

As a nation, we must create about 15 million new jobs in the 1980s to employ all of our expanding adult population. This is less than the 19 million we created in the 1970s to absorb “war babies” into the labor force, but it is still quite a large number. Assuming that present attitudes toward government extend at least a few years into the decade, the government sector as a whole will produce no more than one-quarter of the needed 15 million. The private sector will have to produce the rest. All of this will have to take place during a period in which the structure of the U.S. economy is undergoing very basic changes. 

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