Thursday, June 3, 2010

Jobs Reports for 3 June 2010

Well, the Weekly Report of New Unemployment claims is out and it looks like there has been a drop for the second week in a row. Of course, when the new claims are still over 450K for the week, that isn't all that good since the four week average is still at 459K.

Surprisingly enough, the problems of folks in similar straits as myself, that is, long term un/underemployed is beginning to get a little visibility. Even when the TradMed would apparently prefer we pay more attention to shiny object stories like the separation of Al and Tipper Gore or the hunt for Joran Van Der Sloot.

At the moment, I think that the BP Oil Disaster and the Gaza Flotilla attack have overwhelmed even the TradMed's abilities to distract folks.

With all of the critical news stories happening, it is still a bit of a surprise that TradMed folks are actually reporting on the long term un/underemployeds. At the MSNBC web site, Allison Linn has had articles yesterday and today on the long term un/underemployed. Yesterday she covered the "99ers" (those who have exhausted 99 weeks of Unemployment Compensation.) For those who are mathematically impaired, a year is 52 weeks so 99 weeks of Unemployment payments is five weeks short of two years. And these folks have exhausted that level of benefits. (For the record, I collected 26 weeks of unemployment in 2004 into early 2005). Today Ms Linn covers "older workers," that is, those of us who have worked most of our adult life, who bought in to the myths that by working hard we could earn a living wage and be treated with respect only to discover that instead of being appreciated for our knowledge and experience, we are actually too expensive to keep around.

Digby has also been covering the long term jobless story with this from Tuesday and this from Wednesday on the topic.

A small flicker of good news from this Reuters via MSNBC article on job increases in the "private sector."

The folks that are apparently least likely to be paying attention to our problems though are our elected "representatives." The House of Representatives passed an extension of Unemployment Benefits before leaving for their Memorial Day recess but the Senate left without doing anything so there are folks who will once again run out of benefits before the Senate can get around to doing something. Of course, it's not just the older folks who are disrespected by elected "representatives" since Congress has also failed to pass a Summer Youth Jobs Bill.

I almost want to propose that Congress not be allowed to go into a recess unless the official Unemployment Rate is at 5% or less and the Underemployment Rate is less than 10% (roughly half of what each are today). But rather than allowing them to hide in Washington and away from the voters, I think a better deal would be that sitting members of Congress not be allowed to hold any type of fund raising activities or campaign activities until the jobs have returned. This way, they can't beg for money and try to hold onto their jobs until the rest of us out here have jobs. Of course, my proposal has absolutely no chance of happening as people in my situation don't have the money to make a difference so the corporations can continue to buy their pet politicians.

And because I can:

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