Finally, A Bit of Good News on Jobs
The new unemployment numbers are out. They’re not great, but they’re certainly an improvement over the dismal figures of previous months.
The American economy added 114,000 jobs in September. That’s roughly what experts expected. However, unemployment actually fell, from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent.
Of course, the official unemployment rate doesn’t give the full picture of the American economy. This figure only includes people that are outside the labor force and actively looking for a job.
But there are plenty of jobless Americans that genuinely want to land a paycheck but have just given up looking out frustration. By any commonsense definition, these people are also “unemployed.” But they aren’t counted in that 7.8 percent figure. Plus, there are the underemployed — folks that have a job, but they’re either overqualified for it or can’t get enough hours. They aren’t counted in the official tally, either.
Throw in these two groups and the real unemployment rate jumps well into the double digits.
So, despite this month’s good news, there’s still a lot more work to be done. Democrats appreciate this point. Republicans don’t.
Indeed, GOP stalwart Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma hit a nerve recently when he referred to the Veterans Jobs Corps Act as “crap.” This kind of disdain and disregard for the unemployed is all too common among Republicans
Over the summer, Republican senators blocked the Bring Jobs Home Act — a bill strongly supported by the White House that would have ended tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.
And in August, congressional Republicans banded together behind a budget that makes massive cuts in discretionary spending that would, among other horrific effects, lead to 38,000 teacher layoffs. That cut would have been on top of the existing dwindling of the teacher core — the total number of Americans employed in the profession has dropped by 300,000 since 2009.
Then again, Sen. Coburn and his cohorts probably believe that providing a strong education to the next generation of Americans is also simply “crap.”
Come November, let’s remember which party is actually trying to improve the employment situation — and which one has left workers out in the cold. Be sure to join our new effort: Bee Mad @ the GOP!