THE ECONOMY: Unemployment: Rosy Pink

By year's end the U.S. will achieve "the highest level of employment and the lowest level of unemployment ever experienced in peacetime," predicted Labor Secretary James P. Mitchell to a gathering of New York businessmen last week.

No man to kid himself about unemployment problems (TIME, March 2), Mitchell was basing his rosy-pink prediction on a recent Labor Department finding on the current high unemployment rate.* The finding: as business picks up, many industrial employers are paying for overtime instead of hiring or rehiring additional workers. Reason: liberal labor contracts have added so many fringe-benefit costs to each employee that it...

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