- My Budget 360 -
Over 6.5 million of the 15 million unemployed Americans have been out of work for 27 weeks or more. As a percent, this is the highest number of long-term unemployed we have had since the Great Depression. What is not discussed in this recession is the working poor and middle class have taken on the burden of this financial calamity disproportionately. We are not all in this equally. When was the last time you heard on the mainstream press that 40 million of your fellow Americans are now receiving food assistance? And when was the last time you heard that jobs for the middle class are still largely disappearing? Since much of the media represents the top 1 percent they assume all is well because Wall Street has been on a record breaking bailout rally. At the same time, we have 30 percent unemployment at the lower end of our income scale.
The lower 30 percent are seeing depression like unemployment rates:
Source: Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University
This chart really is a reflection of the current recovery. For the bottom 40 percent, this recession is still extremely painful and realistic. Yet the top 10 percent have an unemployment rate of 3.2 percent which isn’t necessarily a bad number. When we break down the numbers, we realize that the middle class in this country is struggling to get by. The 40 million on food assistance are scraping by. The Wall Street stock market casino is merely a far away distraction to this group. It would be one thing if the rally actually reflected a large boost in job growth in the real economy. Yet last month a large part of the actual added jobs came from Census hiring from the government. This is unsustainable.
Read it all.