Jun 14, 2010
Even the experts had to admit it: the government jobs report for May was truly shocking. After years of record job cuts, no new jobs were created – only a few temporary census jobs lasting for the next two months.
And the report confirmed that the jobs crisis in this country has lasted so long and has grown so deep, almost half the 15 million workers the government counts as unemployed have been out of work for more than six months. This is the highest level of long-term unemployment since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Even worse, in the month of May, roughly 251,000 jobless workers had become so discouraged about not finding work that they stopped looking – and according to the government, dropped out of the labor force. So, even though they are unemployed, the government stopped counting them as “unemployed.”
This statistical sleight of hand is only one way in which government statistics hide the real level of the crisis. If all the unemployed were really counted, the unemployment rate would be closer to 20%, rather than “only” 10%.
Last month, state and local governments slashed 22,000 jobs. This brings the number of job cuts in the public sector up to 231,000 jobs over the past 12 months, a number expected to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming period.
So job cuts in the public sector are now compounding the job cuts from the private sector – with all of the reductions in vital services that come with it.
In a speech following a sumptuous official dinner for economic “scholars” and their extremely wealthy patrons, Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve chairman, had this to say: “My best guess is that we’ll have a continued recovery, but it won’t feel terrific.”
In plain language Bernanke expects the “recovery” in corporate profits and the wealth of the capitalist class to continue unabated, produced by an increasingly exploited working class plagued by horrendous jobs cuts and dire poverty.