The World of the Unemployed
Economists have warned that the labor market of the United States will take decades to return to pre-recession employment levels as long as the economy’s slow growth continues. Some have been very excited at the 120,000 temporary jobs added in November, creating a drop in the “unemployment rate.” Half the decline resulted from 315,000 Americans that have officially dropped from the labor market. Americans drop out of the market because they can’t find a job, whether underemployed or otherwise. Government statistics have revised job growth for September up to 210,000 from 158,000, with October’s gains up to 100,000 from 80,000.
250,000 is magic number, usually declared as the number of jobs created for a healthy recovery, but we know that millions of jobs have bit the dust since 2008, with many facing perpetual unemployment. Admittedly, any number of jobs is better than no jobs, even if they are temporary jobs. Job gains are coming from the retail sector, which pull in a median wage of $10.94 an hour. Naturally, many of the jobs earn less for that ‘median’ figure.
Remarkably, we keep hearing that the United States is doing better than Greece and China, even the rest of the world, but this is probably more of a political stand than reality, depending on where you look. The big picture, at best, is uncertain, which is the latest standard in the new economy. Meanwhile, 2 million Americans have been out of work for 99 weeks or more, creating a jobless recovery, due to lack of normative statistics. The inequity of this reality helped to feed the Occupy Wall Street movement. Corporate profits are at all-time high if you listen to economists at Brookings. The evidence tends to support this.
If you see underemployment, temporary jobs and retail work as the American Dream, the U.S. is living large. When you look closer, the U.S. is coming closer to the reality of a third-world nation as bankers and multinationals denude the nation’s economy for their own interests. This will only continue as long as Americans are spoon fed the notion that somebody must offer them a job if they are to be employed. Politicians continue to bow to special interests above the basic needs of a nation of people. Instead of encouraging self-employment and tax-law favorable to that, the U.S. government would rather encourage living on whatever public benefits are available. Actually encouraging self-employment would eventually change the nation instead of expecting to wait decades for crushing poverty to end while huge national deficits continue to fuel the fires of national insolvency. Instead, politicians have created an underground economy and revitalized a system of barter among the new growing poor of the nation.