The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

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

Brushing Away the Jobless

Feb 7, 2011

At least 145,000 jobs must be created each month, merely to accommodate new young workers entering the work force. Last month, only 36,000 were created.

Fewer jobs, more unemployed–but the 9.4% official unemployment dropped to 9.0%!

Radio stations and newspapers declared how this “puzzled” and “confounded” economists. But there is no puzzle.

The unemployment rate dropped because, to arrive at this figure, government statisticians are ordered not to count those workers who aren’t registered as actively seeking work. What work? Jobs cannot be found. About five million workers have given up looking for jobs that they know aren’t there.

The official unemployment rate dropped because many, many more workers got discouraged and stopped registering. Simple as that.

The statistics are doctored beyond belief so that politicians and their “economists” can claim jobs where there are none, and claim progress where there is failure.

Accurate numbers would show an unemployment rate around 22%! Eight million jobs lost since 2008 have not been regained. Or, using another figure, the “labor force participation rate,” all those older than 16 who have jobs, is only 64.2%–the lowest since 1984.

The true figures are well known to the politicians. If they play dumb and feed us false information, it serves their purposes.

The politicians are the professional managers of the bosses’ system. The bosses have shut down those millions of jobs because they aren’t making enough profits. What do they care for those who lose their homes? What do they care for those who must go hungry, who can’t pay for medicine, who may go over the edge? Their care is for profit, and profit only.

The bosses know well enough that at some point, the anger, frustration and desperation can boil over into outright rebellion. It’s the politicians’ job to delay and defuse that rebellion as long as possible. They doctored statistics and did their job.

If workers and the poor can be persuaded that hope is just around the corner–that today someone got a new job and tomorrow you might, too–then we may decide to wait. Just a little longer. We may hope things will get better by themselves.

But we have already been waiting a long time. Things have only gotten worse.

We know the reality of our lives. We know the reality of our families’ lives. Reality itself proves that the bosses’ statistics lie. Leave it up to bosses and politicians, and the unemployment rate might even fall to zero–but no one will be working, either!

No, it is past time to discover an old truth. No one will save us, but us. We must set our minds to that, and get started.