Monday, August 30, 2010

Labor Day 2010 - Bad News for American Workers

Next Monday, September 6, 2010, is Labor Day in the United States and Canada. This is a holiday that was originally created in June of 1894 by the U.S. Congress to honor American workers (less than a month after this Act of Congress, the Canadian Parliament followed suit and declared the same day -first Monday in September - as a national holiday in Canada honoring its workers).

Unfortunately, for many American workers, this will be the second Labor Day holiday in a row in which over 14.5 million American workers (9+% of the American labor force) find themselves listed as being officially unemployed.

Official unemployment refers to civilian workers who are both unemployed AND actively looking for work. In addition to the over 14.5 million officially unemployed workers there are an additional 1.2 million so called discouraged workers or workers who have seen unemployed so long that they have given up looking for work.

Since the discouraged workers are no longer looking for work they are not included in the official unemployed category - however, they still have no job.

While the official unemployment rate is about 9.6% overall (and this does NOT include the 1.2+ million discouraged workers) it is not distributed evenly throughout the workforce. Some regions with in the U.S. have rates higher than the national average while others have a lower rate. Similarly, the rate for college graduates is a little lower than than for non-college graduates.

The worst hit are teenagers. According to a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) a full 26.3% of teen workers are unemployed. Again, these appear to be those who have been laid off and are looking for work. Many more are no longer looking for work.

For the past two years the current Administration and Democratic controlled Congress have been trying to pull us out of the current recession and reduce unemployment with failed Keynesian policies. It is time to accept the fact that the theories and policy prescriptions of the late John Maynard Keynes are useless and replace them with new pro-growth policies.

Links to My other Labor Day Articles:

Labor Day and the North American Labor Movement

What is Labor Day?

Labor Day in America

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