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Vol. 74/No. 41      November 1, 2010

No letup in sight for
high U.S. jobless rate
(front page)
Amid talk that the capitalist economy is coming out of a recession, the U.S. government is hard pressed to show any progress at all on jobs. The rate of long-term unemployment remains at a record high and most signs indicate that overall unemployment is deteriorating further.

Some 57,000 jobs were cut by employers in August and 95,000 in September. Prior to that time the hiring of 564,000 people to conduct the U.S. census had obscured the fact that there was no real recovery from the recession that had begun in December 2007.

The U.S. Labor Department reported unemployment remained at 9.6 percent in September. Counting all those involuntarily working part-time and those the government says have given up looking for jobs, it stood at 17.1 percent.

There are half a million more discouraged workers now than a year ago and a 72 percent increase in the number of people who are not reported in official unemployment figures because they have stopped looking for work. Unemployment has stood at 9.5 percent or worse for 14 consecutive months, one month more than was true in the 1981-83 recession. Bloomberg News estimated the jobless rate would remain above 9 percent for 2011.

Teenage unemployment stands at 26 percent, only 1 percent less than last year. The official unemployment rate for Black teenagers is 49 percent, with only 11.7 percent of Black youth working.

Over the next three months, few employers plan to hire, according to the National Federation of Independent Business. Where business has picked up, bosses are cautious about doing a lot of hiring, preferring to load more work on those already on their payrolls, which risks more unsafe working conditions. The railroad CSX, for example, says it will deal with a rise in shipping by increasing the length of trains without hiring more workers.

It would take nine years at the current rate of new job creation to replace all the jobs that have been lost in the last two years of recession, the New York Times wrote. This is not counting the 150,000 jobs that need to be created each month to keep up with population growth. The figure for new jobs created by private companies in September was only 64,000.
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