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PODCAST: The Impact of Defecit Reduction on the U.S. Labor Market


Don M. Atwater, PhD
Don M. Atwater, PhD

In this podcast interview, Dr. Don M. Atwater, PhD, Practitioner Faculty of Economics explains how decreases in public sector employment will push back the recovery of the U.S. labor market even further and offers insight into President Barack Obama’s proposal for the American Jobs Act, which would put $447 billion into jobs recovery, and specifically $130 billion in aid to state and local governments. The podcast coincides with the article, Labor Pains: The Recovery of the U.S. Labor Market is about to be Pushed Back, which Atwater co-authored with Neha Kotwani, MBA, and can be found in Vol. 14 Issue 3 of the Graziadio Business Review, by clicking here.

Atwater has been a faculty member at Pepperdine since 1995. The business experiences he brings to the classroom include serving as chief executive for a Southern California technology company, the chief financial officer of an international value-added software company, a principal in the Human Resources and Compensation practice at William M. Mercer, and a director and co-founder of several start-up companies. He has created decision-support technologies and implemented them in a number of Fortune 100 companies, including AT&T, Intel, Dell Computer, Apple Computer, BHP Minerals, IBM, Bank of America, Nestle, and Nestle USA. Dr. Atwater also worked with many public organizations, including the United States Navy, the General Accounting Office, the State of California, and the county and city of Los Angeles.  Today he owns and operates a company dedicated to building goal-driven communities.

In this interview, Dr. Atwater addresses the following questions:

  1. How the jobs landscape changed since the economy started to take a tumble back in 2007?
  2. How does this downturn compare to those of the past?
  3. You state in your article, “Average job growth in the U.S. from 1970 to 2007 was 375,000 jobs per month. But so far, even in the best months of the recovery, job growth has been 50,000-60,000.” This is not looking good for recovery. But you note even bigger problems on the horizon as a result of the recent initiatives to reduce the federal deficit. Can you tell us a little about that?
  4. You note that that the U.S. debt currently weighs in at approx. $14 million and the Government Accountability Office concluded that 300,000 federal jobs are redundant and should be eliminated. Shouldn’t the government “cut the fat” so to speak in the interest of the nation’s fiscal health?
  5. On Sept. 8, U.S. President Barack Obama announced his proposal for the American Jobs Act, which would put $447 billion into jobs recovery, and specifically $130 billion in aid to state and local governments. What are your thoughts on this act, and how might it impact the labor market?
  6. Finally, what words of advice do you have for small businesses, which seem to be the labor market’s best hope?
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Graziadio Business Review
Graziadio Business Review is an online journal that delivers relevant business information and analysis for business, government, and non-profit managers. From accounting and finance to ethics and work/life balance, the Graziadio Business Review extends current business debates in new directions that you can use to advance your business and professional career.
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