Jobs in March increased by 216,000 and the unemployment rate fell to 8.8 percent from 8.9 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. March is the third straight month the number of jobs has risen and the boost in jobs shows the jobs recovery “unmistakably gaining traction,” according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
Put this under the heading of “voodoo economics.” The argument goes that the nation’s 8.9 percent unemployment rate—after nearly two years between 9 and 10 percent—is the new “normal” unemployment rate. Proponents of this absurd claim say it’s workers’ fault because they don’t have the skills to fill the jobs or don’t live near the jobs that are available.
Punxsutawney Phil may have predicted an early Spring on Groundhog Day, but the thaw in the jobs market is still far away. The U.S. Labor Department reported today that the country created only 36,000 jobs in January–not nearly enough to keep up with the growth in the workforce.
Three years after the Great Recession officially began, nearly 27 million U.S. workers either are jobless or in need of full-time work. At the sluggish rate the economy is creating jobs, it will take up to a decade or more before pre-recession levels of unemployment are restored, according to a new report.
As the world’s top business and government leaders gather in Davos, Switzerland, for the annual economic forum, the International Labor Organization (ILO) today released a new report showing that despite some improvements in the global economy, unemployment remains at crisis levels. Some 205 million people worldwide are officially unemployed. That doesn’t count the millions more who have given up looking for work or who are working part-time when they want to work full-time.
Wages have fallen lower and stayed low longer in this recession than in any time since the Depression. With unemployment at 9 percent or better for 20 months and likely to stay that way for a while, wages will continue to drop.
In a bitter battle late last year, Republicans in Congress filibustered an extension of the emergency unemployment insurance (UI) program for more than 1.4 million long-term jobless workers—and they didn’t approve the bill until they won an extension of Bush tax cuts for the rich.
The new year started with better but not great news on the jobs front. The latest figures from the U.S. Department of Labor released this morning show that unemployment dropped from 9.8 percent in November to 9.4 percent in December.
Robin Hood, the guy who robbed the rich and gave to the poor, wore a short frock and tights. From the get-go, the guy serving the disadvantaged while sporting gay attire would fail the entrance exam required to become a card-carrying Republican.