recession and architects

in case you needed proof that architecture and construction have been hammered, Paul Krugman’s blog had this chart on Wednesday:

That’s Architecture and Engineering at the top, with a nearly 300% jump in unemployment between 2007 and 2010.  Krugman’s point is that our problem right now is a general fall in economic demand, not any sort of “structural” unemployment that has to do with workers’ skills failing to keep up.  He’s argued for a long time that the only way to jump start demand is to increase government investment and consumption–I’ll leave the debate to the economists, but the architectural version of this is, surely, profs like myself telling starry-eyed new graduates to think seriously about healthcare and K-12 education, since those have been the only sectors that have stayed robust since the crash.  Or head off to Shanghai, where the bubble seems to have new life.

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