The national unemployment rate edged down to 9.5 percent last month, but the private sector still has 7.9 million less jobs than it did at the end of 2007. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg told CNBC he is worried it could be a “long time” before companies really start adding to their payrolls.
“Companies have found that they can be profitable with fewer employees,” he said. “Productivity is way up, they cut out a lot of things that were nice to have in good times, but it turns out you don’t actually need in order to do your business.
Bloomberg said there are jobs out there, but he added that the skill sets required do not match those of the people currently looking for work.
“We have a gap in the education system that’s just not being closed,” he explained. “We have to find a solution of how do you create jobs for those who are unemployed at the moment.”
Bloomberg said immigration could be part of the solution and proposed an out-of-the-box idea to create good jobs for Americans.
“The only ways I can think of doing it is creating lots of new small businesses,” he went on to say. “The way you do that is you give a green card to anybody overseas who has the money and willingness to take a risk to come here and start a business and employ 10 or more Americans, and they keep their green card as long as they employee 10 or more Americans.”
Bloomberg said the devil will be in the details when it comes to financial reform, and he largely withheld his opinion on the bill, as many of the details are still unclear.
“What is clear is we can’t have it both ways,” he said. “We can’t keep dumping on banks and asking them to make loans so that we can create jobs, and that’s exactly what’s happening here.”