One quarter of the jobs lost since the beginning of the recession won't be coming back. Instead, the estimated 8.4 million goner gigs will be replaced with different jobs in growing industries, finds a Wall Street Journal forecast. "Displaced workers won't be rehired unless we have double the growth rate we're expecting," says one economist. Participants predicted 3% growth for 2010.
The problem, in part, is that hard times caused companies to cut costs, often by outsourcing or substituting technology. By learning to do more with less, they've eliminated the need for previous jobs. "There's a certain Darwinian angle to recession," another economist says. "Firms that survive are stronger for having the experience. They tighten down and look for ways to cut waste." (Read more unemployment stories.)