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A socialist newsweekly published in the interests of working people
Vol. 77/No. 28      July 22, 2013



‘Militant’ publishing break
This is a three-week issue of the paper, as we will be attending the Active Workers Educational Conference. The next issue of the Militant will be mailed out on August 1.

(lead article)
Only 47% of adults
in US work full time
“Only 58.7 percent of the adult population of 245 million was working at all last month.”

Four years into the so-called recovery from the 2007-2009 recession, only 47 percent of the adult population have full-time jobs, according to government figures. And those facing increasingly longer periods of unemployment are finding it more difficult to get work. Only 58.7 percent of the adult population of 245 million was working at all last month.

For June the official unemployment rate was 7.6 percent — unchanged from the previous month — with 195,000 jobs added. Described by some capitalist commentators as a sign the economy is improving, a closer look at the figures shows there’s been no recovery for working people.

Every month government statisticians remove “discouraged” workers — those who, according to government statistics, have given up looking for work — from its jobless figures. While the official jobless rate has declined slightly over the last few years, the proportion of the population with a job has also shrunk.

In June, the number of “discouraged” workers rose by 247,000 over the previous month — more than the so-called added jobs.

Increasing numbers of workers seeking full-time work are being forced to accept part-time hours. In June, these figures rose by 322,000 to 8.23 million workers, according to the Labor Department.

“All of the net addition to June jobs — repeat all — were part time,” said a July 8 Investor’s Business Daily editorial. “Fulltime employment shrank by 240,000. Year to date, only 130,000 full-time jobs have been added to our economy. The rest of the jobs — 557,000 — have been part time.”

And companies from Walmart to General Motors employ nearly 17 million temporary and contract workers, freelancers and consultants — some 12 percent of everyone with a job.

Growing numbers of employers, especially in retail and food services, have been cutting workers’ hours or hiring new workers at less than 30 hours a week to avoid providing health care coverage for employees under the Affordable Care Act, known as ObamaCare.

The law requires employers with more than 50 workers to provide health insurance for full-time employees or pay a $2,000 penalty per worker. While the Obama administration recently postponed implementing this regulation until 2015, more bosses are offering just part-time work. Lowe’s home improvement store chain, for example, plans to hire 9,000 “permanent part-time employees” this year, reported the Wall Street Journal.

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