Weekly Wrap: An economist roundtable on jobs

Ronald Baker speaks with a job recruiter as he looks for a job at a job fair in the James L. Knight Center in Miami, Florida.

Kai Ryssdal sits down with three economists to talk about their ideas on jobs: where new jobs may come from, what needs to be changed, the roles of education and deficit reduction, and more.

- Michael Spence from New York University's Stern School of Business

What makes the current situation so hard is that we're trying to solve a long-term problem with a very constrained fiscal situation.

- Catherine Mann from Brandeis University

I think if we look at the type of policies that were put forward in the president's speech last night, they are get-back-to-work policies. They are designed to move people from just taking an unemployment check to you can get unemployment but you've got to go train. We're going to give a payroll tax, because we'd like you to spend in the local economy. So the local economy gets some job creation and they get some spending.

- Michael Greenstone from MIT and the Hamilton Project at Brookings

I think the for the short-run problem, some of the policies around incentivizing hiring through payroll tax cuts for new hires are really excellent ideas, and ways to get lots of bang for the buck, given the current fiscal environment.

To listen to the discussion, click on "Listen to this story" at the top of the page.

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