Jobs have been lost
October 29, 2009
Thanks to the financial crisis and recession, a great many jobs have been lost, as the media likes to put it. There seems to be some kind of pandemic of carelessness afoot, all these poor jobs being mislaid by unidentified and unaccountable agents.
Of course, what is really happening is that either companies are going bust, or employers are choosing to sack employees. The latter is a case of an active verb that takes a human being as its object.
Even if we agree not to think about those human-being objects too hard, and continue instead with the more comfortable practice of describing what is happening to “jobs” in the passive voice, we should at least observe some symmetry of description. When businesses hire workers, it is said that jobs are being “created”. When they fire workers, it surely follows that jobs are being not “lost” but destroyed.