Don't be Fooled by April 1 News Celebration; Joblessness Remains Crisis
To read mainstream media’s celebration of official unemployment rate dropping from 8.9% to 8.8%, you wouldn’t know that the jobs deficit remains dire for millions of Americans (not coincidentally, corporate profits are going through the roof).
Let’s look through the hoopla:
- Even if the number of jobs available continues to increase at the March pace of 215,000 per month, it will take at least six years to return to the pre-recession rate of joblessness – and many of those new jobs will pay far less than the jobs that were eliminated.
- The official jobless rate for African-Americans actually increased to 15.5%,
- The percent of underemployed rose slightly to 20.3% of all wokers.
- Long-term unemployment is still a major problem, with almost half of all unemployed having been out of work for more than 27 weeks, and record numbers have exhausted all unemployment benefits.
- Official unemployment statistics dramatically undercount the jobless numbers. For example the 2.4 million persons that have been looking for work, but not actively in the past 4 weeks, are not counted as unemployed.
- Compared to other ‘post-recession’ periods, current job growth numbers are anemic.
NBC World News had a segment about where the "official" unemployment numbers come from last week.
As most of official Washington remains in denial of the jobs crisis, clinging instead to a delusional “austerity” mentality that leads to even more concentration of wealth at the top, Chicago Jobs with Justice and their Unemployed Workers Council continued their “First Friday” actions coinciding with the release of the official unemployment numbers to demand a jobs program. JwJ coalitions and allies in other cities held similar events, timed to the release of official unemployment statistics.
On April 9, Chicago JwJ is partnering with the “New New Deal” coalition and Congressman John Conyers for a public forum on the jobs crisis and the “21st Century Full Employment and Training Act”.