A jobless recovery? New jobs they mean, as reported in the Times today. No surprise in this, as the character of the American economy is changing. Manufacturing and the industrial sector have undoubtably shrunk due to international competition, and the tertiary or service sector must take its place. Training for decent service jobs–working in banking or finance or education–takes time, but I believe there are policies that can help.
A shorter work week would easily expand the number of job offerings being made. For a long time now many European countries have considered a 35 or 36 hour work week to be full time. My time in The Netherlands, it was common for people to work only four days a week, and employers are still required to give full benefits. My German friends in Suzhou never work Friday afternoons. Their weekend starts Friday at noon. By contrast, it is common for American workers to be put on salary and work 60 hours a week or more.
Of course it would also be a good idea to subsidize the training for service industries. The wrong response? Protectionism, and I am afraid there is more talk about that than there should be.