“The official unemployment rate is currently at about 6.2%, but that doesn’t take into account the millions of workers who have stopped looking for jobs because they can’t find suitable jobs. In fact, if those eligible, but discouraged job seekers were still actively looking for work were factored in the government’s figures, economists tell us the real unemployment rate would stand at a depressing 9.6%.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the Labor Participation Rate currently stands at 62.9%, the lowest it’s been since 1978. “That was 36 years ago. So, although it may not be the worst labor market in the 132 years since the first Labor Day was celebrated, it still puts a damper on our celebrations this year.”
How did we get here? Weber said the principal initial cause was the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009.
“But it was the on-again, off-again recovery that continues today as a result of poor economic decision making in Washington. For example, instead of focusing their attention on job creation, the powers that be in D.C. decided to adopt a ‘green agenda’ to combat the ethereal threat of climate change. We spent hundreds of billions of dollars backing sketchy solar energy projects that consistently failed to add any new jobs and ultimately went belly up. The administration balked at projects like the Keystone Pipeline, which promised thousands of new jobs. And, they adamantly refused to tap our vast federal oil and gas resources and we took measures aimed at shutting down our coal mines. This, even though the energy sector has the potential of creating tens of thousands of new jobs as evidenced by the incredibly successful private sector recovery projects in North Dakota and Texas.”
Weber said that the Obamacare has had its own negative impact on the job market because the law’s provisions have forced many employers into put caps on employment levels and to turn many full time jobs into part time positions.
“Even the unions, which traditionally backed the president, were up in arms over the Affordable Care Act, saying the law was turning the U.S. into a nation of part time workers. In fact, there has been major growth in the number of part-time and temporary jobs since the recession,” Weber noted.
According to the Washington Post in 2007 that sector of the job market stood at 4.4 million people; this year the number of part time workers has grown by nearly 71% to 7.5 million people. In a recent article, the paper quoted Carrie Gleason, director of the Fair Work Week Initiative, who said: “What we’re seeing is a growing trend of low-quality part-time jobs. It’s creating this massive unproductive workforce that is unable to productively engage in their lives or in the economy.”
NOTE TO EDITORS: Dan Weber is available for telephone interviews on this issue. Editors and reporters may contact John Grimaldi by phone at 917-846-8485 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a call.
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