95,000 jobs were lost in September because the private sector added only 64,000 jobs while government employment went down by 159,000.
Local and state governments slashed 83,000 jobs, the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics said, the fastest rate of job cuts by them in 30 years. 58,000 of those job losses were in education.
The new jobs data released by the Labor Department show the nation’s September unemployment rate remained unchanged from August at 9.6 percent.
The 64,00 new jobs added is less than half of what is required to absorb new entrants into the labor force.
Economists say that to lower the jobless rate to 6 percent by 2013, the economy needs to add 350,000 jobs a month.
Another alarming figure below the radar of the official reports is that the number of workers who are underemployed, which includes those who have given up their job search, rose to 17.6 percent from 16.7 percent in August, meaning more than 26 million American workers are without jobs or full-time work.
The figures make even more shocking the actions of leading GOP officials who seem to be looking for ways to kill even more jobs.
On Oct. 10 New Jersey’s Republican governor Chris Christie killed the largest public transit project in the nation, a commuter train tunnel under the Hudson River to Manhattan. The move stunned almost everyone because work on the tunnel had already begun and the state has already spent $600 million of the $3 billion in federal stimulus funds allocated to New Jersey for the project. Layoffs of some of the 6,000 construction workers needed for the job have already begun.
Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ union, said, “We can’t afford to let our nation’s basics deteriorate further, and we can’t continue to let so many people go without work when there’s so much important work to be done.”
Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, who lives in New Jersey, said, “The ideology that has led Mr. Christie to undermine his state’s future is, of course, the same ideology that has led almost all Republicans and some Democrats to stand in the way of any meaningful action to revive the nation’s economy.”
The AFL-CIO, in its statement on the jobs report, quoted remarks made at a Machinists’ rally for unemployed workers by an unemployed worker who spent 35 years in the construction trades: “I’m 53 years old, and I’ve been kicked to the curb with no job, no insurance and now no home and no unemployment left. And yet I still believe in this country’s democracy. I hope and pray that someday this will all end, and we can wake up from this nightmare. Hopefully Congress can get off their butts and do something for the great people of the United States.”
The federation statement blasted corporations for sitting on their profits and not using their money to create jobs: “Corporations are sitting on hordes of cash but refusing to hire. Nonfinancial companies held $1.845 trillion in cash and short-term assets at the end of the second quarter.”
In September more than 300 economists signed statements calling for immediate job creation and calling upon lawmakers to hold off on tightening spending until the recovery is further along and unemployment comes down.
The AFL-CIO has been calling for a public-investment led recovery based on infrastructure and education to quicken growth and create jobs.