Them that’s got shall get
Them that’s not shall lose
So the Bible said and it still is news
The New York Times reports today on the situation of unemployment in the United States. The numbers, which I have been mentioning, differ from the standard ones issued by the government because they include those who have stopped looking for work, or who have part-time work but want full-time work. This does not include those who consider themselves “underemployed” while working full-time.
The Times notes that had we been keeping records that far back, this number would surely be the highest since the Great Depression.
At the end of the article — interestingly placed — the author mentions some of the most troubling aspects of today’s unemployment:
One of the more striking aspects of the Great Recession is that most of its impact has fallen on a relatively narrow group of workers. This is evident primarily in two ways.
First, the number of people who have experienced any unemployment is surprisingly low, given the severity of the recession. The pace of layoffs has increased, but the peak layoff rate this year was the same as it was during the 2001 recession, which was a fairly mild downturn. The main reason that the unemployment rate has soared is the hiring rate has plummeted.
So fewer workers than might be expected have lost their jobs. But those without work are paying a steep price, because finding a new job is extremely difficult.
Second, wages have continued to rise for most people who still have jobs. The average hourly wage for rank-and-file workers, who make up about four-fifths of the work force, actually accelerated in October, according to the new report.
This is has not happened since the Great Depression, which was a time of foment for various movements for change in how America was run. Since official unemployment is expected to continue to remain above 10% through sometime in 2011, I would imagine that this army of forgotten men and women will be fodder for similar movements here.
What would the feds do if 1 million unemployed people, most of whom will have lost their homes, decide to march on Washington?
Last I found it interesting that all of this gets reported on Saturday, when almost no one reads the paper.