Saturday, January 16, 2010

What Recovery?

If you've been relying on government statistics for unemployment information, you're in for a rude awakening. As are most of us, I suspect.

Unemployment: The 2010 Time Bomb
By John Nichols, The Nation
Seen on Alternet

American employers eliminated 4.2 million jobs in 2009 and sent unemployment soaring into double digits for the first time in more than a quarter century.

Since the fall of last year, the official jobless rate has been over ten percent, while the unofficial rate (taking in the severely underemployed and those who have given up looking) has been over 17 percent.

And, despite the ridiculous "green-shoots" speculation of the Obama administration and overblown "recovery" fantasies of the financial media that has blown every major economic story of recent years, the situation is getting worse.

Analysts had predicted that December layoffs would number around 8,000.

Instead, the figure was more than ten times higher: 85,000.

Unemployment held steady at 10 percent – not because the job market is stabilizing but because tens of thousands of Americans gave up looking for work and are no longer counted among the unemployed.

The sharp drop in the labor force is not merely an indicator of the real unemployment rate. It is a confirmation of the mounting hopelessness in vast stretches of the United States – particularly in California, southern New England and the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes States, where communities are being devastated by a federal auto-industry "bailout" that continues to encourage carmakers to shutter factories in U.S. cities and to relocate production to Mexico and China.

The new unemployment numbers are devastating, and they should send up red flares in Washington, a city where officials have so far has been absurdly neglectful of the most serious social, economic and political crisis facing the country.


Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

I think 2010 will be a watershed year in so many ways. Great change will become apparent this year, as political allegiances start to wither and continued and worsening social conditions make it all too apparent whose side the government really is on. People from both major political persuasions will finally start understanding that their party has worked against their own self-interests, and political rivals will begin to make headway.

The social and political environment is ripe and ready for major change. It begins to happen this year.

1:35 AM  
Blogger Anna Van Z said...

I hope so. It may already be too late, due to a citizenry too entrenched in entertainment to bother with thinking, but maybe a mass awakening and action will still happen.

3:20 PM  

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