Thursday, June 2, 2011

Is the 'Great Recession' Over for Working Familes?

Unfortunately, despite the small decrease in unemployment earlier this year, the Great Recession is still not over.  Below we've highlighted a few recent articles illustrating that we have a long, long way to go to get to a recovery.

News You Can Use
The number of people on food stamps in the United States is still growing.  According to an article by the Economic Populist, 44,587,328 People are on Food Stamps in the United States.

Initial unemployment claims stayed above 400,000 for the seventh straight week, with the next weekly report due Thursday, June 2. Weekly initial claims must fall well below 400,000 for a significant reduction in unemployment to take place. The return to a high rate of initial claims, after 8 weeks of slightly better performance earlier this year, is an ominous sign.

A recent study showed that only 55% of students graduating from college in 2009 and 2010 have been able to find jobs. Half of those jobs are low-wage jobs (like food service) that do not require a college degree. In 2006 and 2007 (before the economic crisis), 90% of college graduates found jobs.

The New York Times supports legislation to remove one barrier to job seekers: "Five states have limited the use of credit histories by potential employers and about 20 are considering similar measures... about 60 percent of employers now do credit checks on job applicants — up from less than 20 percent in the mid-1990s."

Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman says creating jobs should be top priority: "In a rational world bringing an end to [high unemployment] would be our top economic priority... we could have W.P.A.-type programs putting the unemployed to work doing useful things like repairing roads — which would also, by raising incomes, make it easier for households to pay down debt."

In the People's World, Joe Sims argues that "only enormous public pressure" and defeating the ultra right in 2012 will get "a desperately needed public works green jobs program." And Pat Barile says in Political Affairs that there is "no recovery without job recovery." 

In this report from Wider Opportunities for Women and the Michigan League for Human Services that minimum wage is too low to live on and growth of low wage industries and budget cuts making it difficult to survive. On average a single Michigan worker with no children must earn at least $12.24 an hour to survive.  

Take Action!
Losing your job is bad enough. Not being able to apply for a new one because the want-ad reads “UNEMPLOYED NEED NOT APPLY” adds insult to injury. Take action: Tell your Representative and Senators to vote “yes” on the Fair Employment Act of 2011 today.

Please make sure to visit the People's World online for the best in worker's news!             

In solidarity,            

Scott Marshall
Labor Chair, CPUSA

Source: letter from CPUSA Labor Chair

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