UCubed News

Real Unemployment Rate – June 2014

Our Summary of U.S. Real Unemployment makes the adjustments necessary to determine: first, the number of Real Unemployed Persons and, second, the Real Unemployment Rate. In June 2014:

• The number of Real Unemployed Persons decreased by 115,000 to 19.0 million
• The Real Unemployment Rate decreased by 0.1% to 12.1%.

Note: In addition to the 19.0 million Real Unemployed Persons at June 30, there were another 4.7 million persons who, while also saying they want jobs, have not looked for work in the past twelve months.  Solely because they haven’t looked, these persons are not included among the marginally attached workers; if included, then June’s Real Unemployment Rate of 12.1% increases to 14.6%, a figure still more than twice the official BLS rate of unemployment.

 

 

 

Real Unemployment Rate – May 2014

Our Summary of U.S. Real Unemployment makes the adjustments necessary to determine: first, the number of Real Unemployed Persons and, second, the Real Unemployment Rate. In May 2014:

• The number of Real Unemployed Persons decreased by 181,000 to 19.2 million
• The Real Unemployment Rate decreased by 0.1% to 12.2%.

Note: In addition to the 19.2 million Real Unemployed Persons at May 31, there were another 4.9 million persons who, while also saying they want jobs, have not looked for work in the past twelve months. Simply because they haven’t looked, these persons are not included among marginally attached workers; if included, then May’s Real Unemployment Rate of 12.2% increases to 14.8%, a figure still more than twice the official BLS rate of unemployment.

 

 

 

Real Unemployment Rate – April 2014

Our Summary of U.S. Real Unemployment makes the adjustments necessary to determine, first, the number of Real Unemployed Persons and, second, the Real Unemployment Rate.  In April 2014:

  • The number of Real Unemployed Persons decreased by 686,000 to 19.4 million
  • The Real Unemployment Rate decreased by 0.4% to 12.3%.

Note: In addition to the 19.4 million Real Unemployed Persons at April 30, there were another 3.9 million persons who, while also saying they want jobs, have not looked for work in the past twelve months.  Simply because they haven’t looked, these persons are not included among marginally attached workers; if included, then April’s Real Unemployment Rate of 12.3% increases to 14.4%, a figure more than twice the official BLS rate of unemployment.
 

 

JANET YELLEN NEEDS YOU TO WEIGH IN ON A DEBATE RAGING INSIDE THE FEDERAL RESERVE

April 21, 2014 in From the Director, Homepage by Rick Sloan

Dear UCubed Leader:

A debate now rages within the Federal Reserve over inflation. Should the inflation target be less than 2 per cent per year, remain at 2 percent per year or be allowed to grow to 4 percent per year? It is a macroeconomic debate that only the investor class follows closely. But the unemployed have a huge stake in that debate, too.

Oddly, the investor class keeps asking the equivalent of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. They argue whether or not unemployment has dropped low enough. And that’s inane. The official unemployment rate (6.7 percent), the U-6 rate (12.7 percent) and the real unemployment rate (14.7 percent) which includes those who haven’t looked for a job in a year – all three are too far from full employment (4 percent).

Once again, the investor class is asking the wrong question. They should be asking how many pins are being manufactured.

We need more pins – places for the unemployed to go to work – and that takes more investment, public and private, new ventures, new businesses and newly-empowered consumers with money in their pockets. That can only happen if the banks, brokers, venture capitalists and corporate titans start investing in America again instead of shipping capital to the four corners of the earth to avoid paying taxes or make a few more basis points in profit.

America faces a molasses slow recovery. Job growth averaged 174,000 per month in 2011; 186,000 per month in 2012; 194,000 per month in 2013; and 177,000 for the first three months of 2014. None of those figures come close to population growth which averaged 218,000 Americans per month since the start of the Great Recession.

Our workforce grew from 153.1 million in 2007 to 155.8 million today. That’s anemic growth. What should frighten the Federal Reserve are two facts. First, real unemployment stands at 23.8 million including, as explained above, those who haven’t looked for a job in the last year. Second, the number of Americans not-in-the-workforce has exploded from 78.7 million in 2007 to 91.6 million today – an increase of 13.1 million.

Do the math. Real unemployment plus not-in-the-workforce equals 36.9 million Americans! Talk about depressing. Actually, that IS what keeps depressing this economy. Subtract that many consumers and the engine of growth sputters and comes to a halt eventually.

So, for America’s NOT working class, the Federal Reserve internal debate boils down to abandoning its efforts to stimulate the economy in order to keep non-existent inflation pressures in check. In reality, low inflation means lower interest rates and, consequently, the lowest incentives to invest in new industries, new ventures and new businesses. Quick and fast investors may like low inflation to protect their assets but their incessant greed is throttling our economy.

Since most Federal Reserve decisions are not felt immediately, the internal debate is really about what the economy will look like in late 2015 and early 2016. It will play havoc with presidential campaigns. But, far more dangerous, will be the microeconomic impacts of the Federal Reserve’s shift from a jobs advocate to an inflation fighter.

What little hope the long-term unemployed had of ever getting a job that matches their skills will vanish if the inflation hawks win the debate inside the Federal Reserve. So tell the Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen not to shift focus until we reach full employment. Tell her your story. Tell her what it is like to be unemployed for six months, 12 months, 24 months or more.

From her past speeches and current actions, Janet Yellen has been on our side. We need to give her the ammunition she needs to win this debate. So write her today.

In Unity — Strength,

Rick

Rick Sloan
UCubed President

 

 

Not Accidental Tourists

March 19, 2014 in From the Director, Homepage by Rick Sloan

Dear UCubed Leader:

In the last 28 days, Facebook reports that UCubed reached 11 million people in the United States, 896,000 in Canada, 455,000 in Australia and 405,000 in India. We also reached over 50,000 Facebook users in eight more nations: Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Brazil, New Zealand, Germany and South Africa.

Who knew?

All told UCubed is reaching folks in 45 countries… even in nations like Iceland and Nepal.

We used to brag about how many people saw our posts in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. Last month, we reached 345,000 in those three cities. But now, our top 45 cities include London; Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton in Canada; Chennai and Bangalore in India; and Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide in Australia.

UCubed reached as many folks in London as it did in Los Angeles (100,000) last month. At the lower end, we reached as many users in Adelaide as in Charlotte, NC (31,000).

Unfortunately, Facebook metrics limits us to the top 45 countries and cities. But it also shows us the 45 languages spoken. So we know that UCubed posts are being seen by 1,600 folks who list their primary language as Catalan, Persian and Estonian. All the way up to the 14.3 million English speakers and everything in between, including three versions of Chinese.

Again, who knew?

Last year, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that 197 million people were unemployed worldwide and another 38 million had dropped out of the labor market. The ILO also tracks the rate of unemployment across the globe. From Mauritania at 30.9 percent in 2013 to Cambodia at .03 percent – yeah, right – their data depends on “published national sources.” And we know how accurate those national sources can be.

And yet, the simple fact is that a global jobs crisis exists.

That jobs crisis depresses local and national economic growth because those quarter billion people consume fewer goods and services. It depresses the individual because they become stigmatized by right-wing politicians and ignored by center- and left-wing ones. As their unemployment lingers indefinitely, they become more and more isolated from workplace colleagues, neighbors, friends and neighbors. They become chained to their fates.

Or, as President Franklin Roosevelt once said, “We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. Necessitous men are not free men. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”

Perhaps, it is time to realize that “necessitous men” led the Arab Spring, drove the politics of India, Ireland and Italy, marched in Greece, Portugal and Spain, and seethed in Iran, Jordan, Turkey and Macedonia. And foremost among those “necessitous men” were the jobless women who stood up for themselves and their families.

But nowhere, not here in the United States nor in the Russian Federation, are the unemployed to be taken for granted. They are not accidental tourists. They are survivors whose scars run long and deep. And, like their grandparents and great grandparents from the Great Depression, their memories of being jobless will dictate their politics for decades to come.

So let’s hope that UCubed continues to reach across the globe. And that our message – Let’s make Democracy work for us – resonates on every continent.

In Unity — Strength,

Rick

Rick Sloan
UCubed President

 

Real Unemployment Rate – February 2013

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has published their unemployment numbers for February 2014, stating the official unemployment rate increased to 6.7% from January’s figure of 6.6%.  And, as of February 28, 2014, based on a separate monthly survey of “households,” there were 10.5 million unemployed persons.

However, as we not each month, these BLS figures do NOT reflect real unemployment, because they do not include:

  • Marginally attached workers are workers who “while wanting and available for jobs, have not searched for work in the past four weeks but have searched for work in the past twelve months.”  Currently included among them are 0.8 million discouraged workers who did not look for work specifically because “they believe there are no jobs available or none for which they would qualify.”
  • Underemployed workers cannot find full-time jobs or have had their hours cut back.

In February 2014, the number of Real Unemployed Persons decreased by 137,000 to 19.9 million and the Real Unemployment Rate decreased by 0.1% to 12.6%.

NOTE: In addition to the total 19.9 million Real Unemployed Persons at February 28, there were another 3.8 million persons who, while also saying they want jobs, have not looked for work in the past twelve months.  Because they haven’t looked, these persons are not included among marginally attached workers; if they are included, then February’s Real Unemployment Rate of 12.6% increases to 14.7%.

 

 

PROFILES IN COWARDICE

February 12, 2014 in From the Director, Homepage by Rick Sloan

Dear UCubed Leaders:

You are on the cutting edge of a revolution in this country. No, I am not talking about the violent overthrow of a government. I am looking at the new way Americans can make their Democracy work for them.

This week, the GOP-led Congress passed a clean debt ceiling increase. It took the issue off the table until March 2015 and long after the midterm elections occur.

Why did they do that?

They were afraid of you. They were afraid of what you might do if they engaged in brinkmanship once again. They were afraid to compromise so they kicked returning veterans and the unemployed to the curb. And they were afraid that, with Democrats needing to win only 17 seats in the House, they could be booted from power.

So, they caved.

Only 28 GOP members voted to increase the debt ceiling. The rest were so scared of you that they may have soiled themselves casting “nays”.  They know that, if the Tea Party doesn’t tar and feather them in a primary, you will go after them in the general election.

For those GOP members are the same ones who cut off extended unemployment insurance, cut deeply into food stamps and voted against every jobs bill since they voted to bail out Big Banks in 2008. They shafted the weakest among us and sucked-up to the most powerful because that made them feel invincible.

And yet, their profiles in cowardice mark them for what they really are. They are frightened little men and a few women whose self-doubts and self-loathing are masked by fancy but empty suits, makeup for high definition TV and perfectly coifed hair. And, like ventriloquists’ dummies, they are mere mouthpieces for the powerful interest that own them lock, stock and barrel.

They are running scared. And with good reason – they are afraid of you!

In unity – strength,

Rick

Rick Sloan
UCubed President

 

 

‘Full Employment Caucus’ Looks to Tackle Unemployment

February 4, 2014 in From the Director, Homepage by Rick Sloan

A group of legislators led by Reps. John Conyers (D-MI) and Frederica Wilson (D-FL) announce the new Full Employment Caucus in Congress to help end the high rate of unemployment.

U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson says everyone on her street had a job when she was a little girl growing up in 1950s Miami.

“But nowadays, there’s a brand new community and there are people down the street who lost their jobs,” said Wilson.

Wilson and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) were announcing the creation of the first-ever “Full Employment Caucus.” Watch the Machinists News Network video of the announcement on Capitol Hill by clicking here.

The pair says the new caucus will give members of Congress a platform to propose legislation, like the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment and Training Act (H.R. 1000), to end the unemployment crisis.

The task won’t be easy. They say 24 million new jobs are needed to end the unacceptably high rate of unemployment and underemployment.

“One of the primary vehicles and pathways out of poverty is a job,” said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA). “That’s what people want. People don’t want to have to rely on food stamps, Section 8 or Medicaid. People want a job.”

Click here to watch “Full Employment Caucus Established in Congress.”

 

 

 

Real Unemployment Numbers for December 2013

January 10, 2014 in From the Director, Homepage by Rick Sloan

The official Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) unemployment rate fell to 6.7% from November’s figure of 7.0%, with the decline almost entirely the result of people leaving the workforce.  They state that as of December 31, 2013 (based on a separate monthly survey of households, there were on 10.4 million unemployed persons.

However, the BLS does not include among unemployed persons workers who are either  marginally-attached workers or are underemployed.

If included the summary of Real Unemployment for December 2013:

  • The number of Real Unemployed Persons decreased by 111,000 to 20.6 million
  •  The Real Unemployment Rate decreased by 0.1% to 13.1%.

 

 

 

Reach Out

December 19, 2013 in From the Director, Homepage by Rick Sloan

Dear UCubed Leaders:

The malls are filled with glitter and gift boxes. The mail contains flashy cards and sales catalogues.  Every newspaper and television show touts the extravagances available to the wealthiest among us.

And yet, these are the longest nights and toughest days of the year for the unemployed and underemployed. They cannot escape the commercialization of the Holiday Season. Nor can they block out the anxieties and doubts they feel as they look towards the New Year.

So, reach out to them. Give them the one gift that cannot be purchased online or in any story – the gift of your friendship. Let them know that you know how hard it is to be looking for work right now. Let them know that they are not alone. Let them know their fight is your fight, too.

Each life you touch will never forget your thoughtfulness. More than you will ever know, that one act can pierce even the darkest of nights and illuminate what is truly invaluable in these tough times.

In unity – strength,

Rick

Rick Sloan
UCubed President