From the Labor Commission of the CPUSA, updates, information, news, analysis, and organizing materials in solidarity with workers of the world.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Worst jobless stats in 20 years only the tip of the iceberg

By John Wojcik, People's Weekly World

The announcement June 6 that the jump in the unemployment rate is the worst in more than a generation resulted in a few corporate analysts admitting we are now in an economy that has probably “stalled.” Workers know that what Wall Street apologists are describing as a stall is nothing less than a disaster.

Jobs fell by 49,000 in May after a 28,000 drop in April, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The unemployment rate increased to 5.5 percent, the fifth straight month in a row that jobs decreased. Keep in mind that it takes 130,000 or more new jobs a month just to absorb new people into the labor market.

The government figures admit to 7,626,000 “unemployed.” That’s where they get the 5.5 percent figure. They don’t include in that percentage the 5,220,000 they admit are “underemployed,” the 1,414,000 they admit are “discouraged” and no longer seeking jobs or the 6,634,000 who are underemployed, discouraged and out of the pool of those eligible for unemployment insurance. That brings the total unemployment figure to 14,260,000 according to figures compiled by the House Ways and Means Committee. Even the 14 million plus figure doesn’t tell the real story because there are many millions who have never found a first job and are not included in any of the above categories.

Among African Americans, unemployment rates are even worse. There is one job for every two people who are seeking work. Again, that figure only applies to all those who are still eleigible to collect unemployment insurance.

The corporate analysts might be able to get away with describing the disaster as only a “stall” in the economy if jobs was the only issue involved. In reality it is only one of the more visible aspects of the crisis workers face.

Story continues here.

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