Behind the employment headlines


Most news stories in today's business reports will headline the 431,000 growth in payroll employment during May - the biggest increase in years. That would be great news, except for one little problem. All except 20,000 of those jobs were temporary workers hired for the Census. May was the peak month for Census employment. In June, the Census will start laying off workers, adding an estimated 200,000 to the jobless ranks, with another 100,000 layoffs each month through September.

Meanwhile, bills are stalled in Congress that would provide minimal aid to local governments to provide summer jobs for young people and prevent layoffs of up to 300,000 teachers and other workers. Without these and more far-reaching measures, spending (and jobs) from the stimulus bill (passed in February 2009) will start winding down. There is a real danger that the official unemployment rate will again move up past 10 percent.

The official jobless rate for June dropped from 9.9 percent to 9.7 percent. This was partly due to the temporary Census hiring. But it also reflected the disappearance of about 400,000 from the labor force - workers who have given up looking for jobs. These are the hidden unemployed. Including everyone who would work if jobs were available, and those who work part-time but want a full-time job, there are more than 30 million unemployed and underemployed in the United States, for a real unemployment rate of about 20 percent.

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  • I think that the layoffs in education are a tragedy. What are we thinking. Short-changing the youth of the country is such wrong thinking.

    Posted by Ronald Humphrey, 06/08/2010 5:49am (5 years ago)

  • Great article, Art! I hope that you will write more articles for the Peoples World. I read some of your fathers books.

    Posted by Sean Mulligan, 06/06/2010 10:41pm (5 years ago)

  • Many pro-working class analysts argue correctly that in order to get the Census done accurately,apportioning monies fairly,we need full time workers,psychologists,sociologists,economists,policy makers and analysts,with advanced training offered to those traditionally denied advance stations in management and supervision-in two words-affirmative action- to correct centuries of racism and jim crow barbarism.
    In fact we need an army of intellectual and manual workers,of varying social and economic backgrounds,to help bring the fairness and equality to educe to best of the best of workers. We will discovery what history has oftentimes inadvertently revealed:gift and ability has nothing to do with "race" or even economic circumstance.
    The fatherless,humble,Haitian/African American background of our genius W.E.B. Du Bois,revolutionizing sociology,anthropology,history,philosophy and literature proves this truth. His "unearned,unlettered,stratospheric achievement in economics,honed at the University of Berlin,when Berlin was the Mecca of learning in economics(the genesis of socialists economics in history's unyielding advance,represented by figures like Schmoller,Wagner and Treitschke there) which preached social justice through economic justice-as Marx had before them.
    This unemployment and underemployment of capitalism,which sneers at all human development and learning will fail ignominiously as we nobodies become every-bodies fighting for full employment and exposing the sleight of hand by capitalist class analysts and apologists.
    As millions are unemployed,and much,much work is needed to bring clean,green,sustainable energy use and products to workers,workers-with the communists are demanding reason and economic justice for those who do and shall do the work to count,rise,go and do for and of humanity.

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 06/06/2010 3:29pm (5 years ago)

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