Posted by: coastcontact | March 7, 2014

Continuing High Unemployment

Today’s employment report for February is another set of contradictory results.  175,000 jobs were added to payrolls.  The number of long term unemployed has remained stubbornly high at 37% (or even higher) of the total unemployed since January of last year.  There were two months when the number dropped below this level but they were most likely statistical errors as they were not consecutive months.

Other nations would be happy with the unemployment rate that the USA is experiencing, 6.7%. That is not a fair comparison.  Americans are used to an unemployment rate of 5%.   That is a number that was last seen in April 2008.

Despite government optimism there is nothing on the horizon that says we will see any number near 5% in 2014.

Two issues make changes in unemployment likely. 1) Low cost labor in other countries.  2) Technology has reduced the need for so many workers.  Those long term unemployed need re-training into new careers that are experiencing labor shortages.

Conservative politicians won’t allow government funding of those kinds of programs.  They complain about welfare and long term unemployment benefits but won’t allow themselves to see the benefits of re-training programs.  If there was a conservative president making a case for re-training a conservative congress would enact the needed legislation.  Since Barack Obama is a Democrat no programs will be enacted.  It’s all about politics.

Where do we go from here? No where as long as there is a divided government.  Look for changes in 2017.  It makes me sad and dismayed.



  1. You are seeing it very clear. It is unfortunate.. Now what?  Missed you at current event class.



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