Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
MeteorBlades at Daily Kos has a must read post on unemployment in America with good charts and graphs that I would simply have to reproduce in full here, so I will provide you with the link and highly recommend that you read it. Millions of Americans still subject to economic nutcracker (snippet):
A number aspects of economy are looking up by standard measures that have, in previous economic downturns, presaged better days ahead. Overall growth has been positive for 18 months, and many – though far from all – economists are boosting their forecasts for improvement in 2011. Some say we're perhaps see 4 percent growth in gross domestic product next year. An improvement, to be sure, but still well below what it took in the most recent bad recession – 1981-1983 – to bring unemployment numbers down significantly.
Despite these modestly hopeful signs, for millions of Americans, today's situation is worse than it was a year or two ago. They've exhausted their unemployment benefits if they were lucky enough to have them in the first place, they've spent their savings and they've lost their homes. Their lives have been turned upside-down. With the ascendance of a new House of Representatives dominated by politicians who want to slash non-defense spending by as much as 20 percent, these battered rank-and-file Americans are dependent on a private-sector rebound that extends beyond profit margins and hiring of temp workers.
While the Great Recession is over as measured by the experts at the National Bureau of Economic Research, here's the unrepaired wreckage:
Americans out of work for six months or more now clock in at 6.3 million, 41.9 percent of the jobless total. Thirty percent have been out of work for a year or more. Record post-World War II numbers, and, as of last month, still rising. Being jobless that long makes it harder to find work. Skills deteriorate, depression sets in, and would-be employers often wonder what underlying factors may be behind why an applicant has been without a job for so long. The longer you're out of work, the harder it is to get hired.
Conclusion: "While doing all we can to make clear how neoliberal economic attitudes and policies inevitably make the situation worse for the majority of Americans, the left should be devising our own fresh ideas for how to deal with our nation's acute and chronic economic problems. . . It will, of course, take more than new ideas to root out entrenched old ones as well as to overcome the powerful people and institutions that have imposed them on us. But we can't get anywhere without first developing those ideas and finding a means of exposing them on a regular basis to a broader public than that found on a few blogs [like this one] and cable programs."