Employment Stats Aren’t Telling the Whole Story
The ranks of the long-term unemployed are contracting. There are now about 5.2 million Americans that have been out of work for 27 weeks or more. That’s 1.5 million less than the April 2010 peak.
Take James Ensley, a Georgia native who recently took a job as a bus driver. That job has a $10,000 annual salary — just a third of what he used to make as a warehouse manager. And he has to somehow stretch that money to support himself and his two children.
Employers are fully aware of how desperate the jobs crisis is. So they have the upper hand when negotiating salaries. And if a prospective employee tries to haggle for a bump in pay, the employer can — accurately — remind them that there are plenty of other people interested in that position.
The latest jobs report from the Labor Department also showed a drop in the nation’s unemployment rate, to 8.1 percent. This figure, too, doesn’t tell the whole story.
One of the big reasons the official unemployment rate has dropped is that more and more people are simply giving up on looking for work. Technically, that means they’re not “unemployed” anymore. They’re now considered simply “out of the job market.”
The depressing truth is that the American economy still isn’t creating enough jobs to meet demand. Last month, this country generated just 96,000 new positions. That’s not even enough to keep up with population inflation. And monthly job creation has been stuck below 143,000 since March. The private sector, left to its own devices, is not growing fast enough to fix the jobs crisis. Monthly job creation is anemic — and has been for a long time.
We need concerted government action to fix this jobs crisis. But, as I have pointed out repeatedly, Republicans are preventing any real progress.
Come November, let’s remember which party is actually trying to improve the employment situation in this country and which one has left workers out in the cold. Be sure to join our new effort: Bee Mad @ the GOP! We’ve committed ourselves to pointing out the many ways that Republicans are failing working Americans.