|In earlier recessions of past 65 years it took some six months for employment to return to prior levels. Since 1990 it has taken longer and longer.|
BY SETH GALINSKY
Job losses in the United States since 2001 are the worst of any 10-year period since the 1890s. One-third of those unemployed have been out of work for more than a yearalmost half for more than six months, higher than any time in the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Employment in the United States is still 5 percent below its level more than three years ago, making this far and away the most sluggish jobs recovery of any capitalist recession since the end of World War II (see chart).
The wildly understated unemployment rate the government wants the media to focus on is itself high, at more than 9 percent.
Adding in those whove been out of work for so long theyve stopped bothering to look for the time beingplus those working part-time who want a full-time jobmore than 15 percent of the labor force is jobless, by the figures of the bosses government itself.
And if you count the way Washington used to before 1994when the Clinton White House rigged Labor Department jobs statistics to try to pretty them upthen the jobless rate is almost 25 percent!
Whats more, nothing the U.S. government has done to stimulate the economy has reversed the capitalist crisis or its devastating impact on tens of millions of working people.
According to the latest official report, industrial production is stuck at 93 percent of its 2007 level, and the capitalists utilization of existing plant and equipment is a bit above 75 percentnearly 4 percentage points below its average for the previous four decades.
Instead of fueling expanded production and hiring, Washingtons massive increase in the money supplyso-called quantitative easinghas simply swelled bank reserves and done nothing to reverse the tendency of capitalists to pile up huge amounts of cash. By the third quarter of 2010 cash-hoarding by U.S. companies hit a record $1.9 trillion, up from an already high $1.5 trillion in 2007.
Even the spending on machinery and equipment that is taking placeitself inflated by government subsidiesis not being used to expand productive capacity, output, and hiring.
Instead, big capitalists are buying so-called labor-saving equipment and software. Far from saving any labor for working people, however, this cost-cutting by the bosses leads to longer hours for fewer workers, intensified speedup, and more and worse injuries on the job.
I want to have as few people touching our products as possible, Dan Mishek, managing director of Vista Technologies in Vadnais Heights, Minnesota, told the New York Times recently. You dont have to train machines.
In this jobless economic recovery the number of workers in manufacturing has declined by more than 32 percent since January 2000. More than 446,000 jobs in state and municipal governments have been cut since September 2008.
Neither Obama nor other Democratic or Republican politicians have any jobs program. As part of the 2009 Recovery Act, the president promised funds for construction and infrastructure projects to put millions to work.
Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected, Obama joked June 13 to the guffaws of the capitalists, top-level managers, and well-heeled professionals on his Jobs and Competitiveness Council, admitting how few jobs have been created.
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