The best and worst jobs

CareerCast.com has released its annual Jobs Rated report, which ranks 200 jobs according to various metrics, including work environment, pay, and stress level.   Physicians are #78, the good pay being negated by the high stress levels and difficult work environment.  Pastors come in at #101.  The top two jobs?  Mathematicians and University Professors.  The worst two?  Lumberjacks and newspaper reporters.  After the jump, see a list of the top 10 and the bottom 10, as well as a link to the complete list with the scores.

But what does this attempt to objectify the highly personal and to quantify the ineffable leave out, something that can make even lumberjacking and journalism joyful and fulfilling?  (Hint:  It begins with a V.)

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Trading places with China?

China is undergoing a labor shortage due to its one child policy with its forced abortions, which means that labor costs are climbing.  It may soon reach a point when American companies will do better to keep their manufacturing jobs here.   From Harold Meyerson:

The best news about the American economy isn’t coming from America. It’s coming from China.

The inexhaustible labor pool that has fueled China’s rise as the world’s dominant low-cost manufacturer is beginning to get exhausted. The nation’s decades-old one-child policy has collided with its decades-old industrial development policy to produce something hitherto unimaginable: a labor shortage. China’s labor force will begin to shrink in the next year or two, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

The result, as the Journal documents, is steeply rising wages — during the past year, up 14 percent in Shanghai; 18 percent in Guandong (China’s industrial belt); and 28 percent in the inland province of Chongqing, a lower-wage region to which manufacturing has only begun to relocate.

The implications for the U.S. economy are potentially major. With labor costs soaring in China and the yuan slowly rising, while in the United States productivity soars and the dollar slowly declines, the economic advantages that American companies reap by offshoring production begin to dwindle. A Boston Consulting Group study released this month on the return of U.S. manufacturing concludes that “re-investment in the U.S. will accelerate” as a result of these trends.

via China’s bad economic news is not necessarily good for the U.S. – The Washington Post.

OK, it’s not quite so simple, as the column goes on to explain.  But still.  Maybe China and other countries will start outsourcing their manufacturing to us.  If China is becoming the new America economically, maybe America will become the new China.  Not that this would be altogether a good thing.

Stimulus spent $160,000 for each job

Calculating the number of jobs created for the number of dollars spent for that purpose in the stimulus plan has come up with different figures, including as much as $250,000. But using the administration’s own optimistic figures that 1 million new jobs have been created, that still comes to $160,000 Per Stimulus Job:

The White House argues that the actual job number is actually larger than 640,000 — closer to 1 million jobs when one factors in stimulus jobs added in October and, more importantly, jobs created indirectly, such as "the waitress who's still on the job," Vice President Biden said today.

So let's see. Assuming their number is right — 160 billion divided by 1 million. Does that mean the stimulus costs taxpayers $160,000 per job?

Jared Bernstein, chief economist and senior economic advisor to the vice president, called that "calculator abuse."

He said the cost per job was actually $92,000 — but acknowledged that estimate is for the whole stimulus package as of the end of 2010.

So the White House insists that the stimulus spent $92,000 per job. That doesn’t, of course, mean that the new jobs paid that kind of money. They are mostly construction jobs that pay way less than that. But it shows how much the government spends in administration and its own trickle down processes. In the meantime, despite this job creation, the unemployment rate continues to climb, approaching 10%.

Related: According to consumer car site Edmunds.com, the Cash for Clunker program cost taxpayers $24,000 for each car. This for an average $1600 rebate on a car that cost an average of $26,000. (This was calculated taking into account the number of cars that would already have been bought anyway whose buyers needed no incentive. This was the cost of the extra cars that were purchased due to the federal program.)


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