Summers: New phase of job growth under way

Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers praised the White House’s economic recovery efforts, saying that a new phase of growth is under way as smart phones and iPads begin to usher in a nascent wave of technological jobs.

“Some of the jobs that were lost aren't going to come back, but some of the jobs are going to come in new places,” said Summers in an interview on CNN’s "Fareed Zakaria GPS" scheduled for broadcast on Sunday.

“We're educating more kids each year. We have more needs for healthcare each year,” he said.

“What's happening in information technology, which was so dramatic in the 1990s, a little more quiescent in the middle part of this decade, is taking off again with the iPad, with all that's happening on mobile devices. So what has always been the American story is that jobs are lost in some sectors and jobs come back in other sectors.”

As the national unemployment rate recently dipped down to about 9.4 percent, Summers said that the key signs of “significant employment growth” were beginning to appear and were stronger than they’ve been in years.

“When demand picks up, the first thing firms do is ask their existing workers to do more,” said Summers. “The next thing they do is ask people to work some over time. And the last thing they do is hire more people.”

Summers said education would be a crucial component to continued job growth as technology evolves and becomes more sophisticated, and as the manual labor jobs such as construction, which has about a 20 percent unemployment rate, become more scarce.

“And now, because we have an overhang of houses that are vacant, malls that are vacant, of office buildings that are vacant, we have this tremendous drop in the demand for construction workers, and construction jobs and for a certain class of men who haven't gone to college,” he said. “That's a substantial part of employment. And so we're going to have problems with us in that sector for quite some time to come.”