It’s a B*tch Being Poor

We are all still feeling the effects of a slow economy.  Jobs that pay a livable income are hard to come by.  If the unemployed do find work, many times it is temporary, contract work without benefits.

A recent research paper from the Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, further analyzed the unemployed by income and race.

The charts with the results can be viewed here

Source: “Labor Underutilization Problems of U.S. Workers Across Household Income Groups at the End of the Great Recession: A Truly Great Depression Among the Nation’s Low Income Workers Amidst Full Employment Among the Most Affluent”, by Andrew Sum, Ishwar Khatiwada, with the Assistance of Sheila Palma, Center for Labor Market Studies,Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts.

The following are some of the key takeaways from the study:

  • The total number of unemployed and underemployed has doubled in the last two years
  • Four year collage graduates, many managers, government employees, professionals are well protected from job losses
  • Blue-collar workers particularly in the construction sector, teenagers and black men have higher unemployment rates
  • From the chart above, we can infer that workers in the top two deciles have unemployment rates of just 4.0% and 3.2%
  • Workers in the lowest decile – those earning $12,499 or less – faced a Great Depression era unemployment rate of about 31% and the second lowest declie had an unemployment rate of about 20%
  • Both unemployment and underemployment rates increase dramatically from high income to low income levels

The study above clearly shows that lower-income Americans are affected greatly by the current recession while people at the top of the pyramid have almost negligible unemployment rates.

Since the majority of the low-income workers are employed in the service sector, they face a further bleak future as consumer spending is still down. The study confirms that the headline rate unemployment rate of 9.7% is vastly misleading since it is much worse than that for low-income workers. Most of the Wall-Street bankers, government employees and other professionals have escaped this recession unscathed while it is not the same case with the rest of the workers.

Republican Senate candidate from Nevada, Sharron Angle, wants people to take any old job and stop collecting unemployment insurance.   Sharron’s views on the unemployed only echoe the Republican ideology of “I got mine so I don’t care about you.”

Watering Hole – June 30, 2010 – Open Thread

Imagine our nation becoming less dependent on foreign oil.  Isn’t that the driving force of the “drill, baby drill” crowd?

State Representative (D-PA) Dave Kessler brings alternative fuel initiative to Pennsylvania which that could wean the State and the Nation off of foreign oil and create permanent jobs.  Read more about this innovation here.

Speak Up!

We’ve got a war to lose!

The Wall Street Journal

KABUL—More than $3 billion in cash has been openly flown out of Kabul International Airport in the past three years, a sum so large that U.S. investigators believe top Afghan officials and their associates are sending billions of diverted U.S. aid and logistics dollars and drug money to financial safe havens abroad.

The cash—packed into suitcases, piled onto pallets and loaded into airplanes—is declared and legal to move. But U.S. and Afghan officials say they are targeting the flows in major anticorruption and drug trafficking investigations because of their size relative to Afghanistan’s small economy and the murkiness of their origins.(read more)

This war is getting ever more absurd.