On March 7th, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart cited seven ways we could improve our unemployment rate with responsibility and infrastructure.

Job Skill Mismatch

Simply put, workers abilities do not match what employers are seeking.

Held Hostage By Your House

Data just released by CoreLogic indicates that for the quarter October - December, 2010, 23.1% of mortgages are underwater. This makes owners reluctant to sell and move.

Unemployment Benefits Extended

Studies show this makes up .4% to 1.7% of the February unemployment rate of 9.5%.

Crippled Credit For Small Business

Small businesses have not been able to secure financing from banks, although recent surveys suggest this has been loosening lately. The specter of tight credit can always return quickly.

Slowdown In New Business Starts

Many small businesses are financed with home equity loans and personal debt, neither of which are easy to come by these days.

Strong Growth in Productivity

This simply means less workers are producing more. Yes, those with jobs are sometimes overworked, but there is less need to hire when three people can do what five people used to do.

Too Much Uncertainty

While the stock market has bounced back from its lows of March 9, 2009, there remains much uncertainty in the economy:

  • The earthquake in Japan
  • North African unrest
  • Escalating inflation

So, have you been affected by any of these "structural" components of the economy? Let me hear from you in the comments below. 

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