The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

They Call It a “Jobless Recovery”

Sep 14, 2009

The media tells us the economy is starting to recover. Certainly for the capitalists, there is a recovery – profits are up by 20% over the last six months.

The capitalists have done it partly by forcing fewer workers to do more work. They have raised productivity by 6.6% compared to a year ago.

This kind of huge jump in productivity – especially during a recession, when productivity usually drops – could only be carried out through big attacks against the working class. Output per hour worked is forced up, even while jobs are eliminated.

These attacks have fed the growing joblessness. Another 216,000 jobs were cut in August. There are now nearly 30 million people whom the government classifies as unemployed or underemployed.

When commentators call this a “jobless recovery,” what they mean is a recovery in corporate profits – paid for by speed-up, loss of jobs, and lower pay and benefits.