Unemployment Down?

November unemployment numbers released on Dec. 2 indicated a decrease in joblessness from 9 percent to 8.6 percent. Most U.S. media treated that decline as good news, but behind the statistics is a less encouraging reality. The net employment gain in November was 120,000: 140,000 jobs gained in the private sector offset by 20,000 jobs lost in the public sector, as local, state and federal governments continue to shed workers. That “growth” was barely enough to keep up with new workers entering the job market. Worse news was that 315,000 people dropped out of the workforce entirely. These are unemployed people so discouraged that they have stopped looking for work and have become ineligible for unemployment insurance assistance. Network, a Catholic lobby, argues that real improvement in the U.S. job market will require a more determined government response, since the U.S. private sector cannot absorb all those who are unemployed. Repairing crumbling infrastructure and hiring more teachers are just two ways the federal government could intervene to spur job growth.

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Edward Lally (center) is joined by his schola, Sarah Coffman, Katherine Keberlein, Ngaire Bull and Sarah Beatty, at St. Edward's Catholic Church in Chicago on April 8, 2017. Photo courtesy of Sarah Beatty.
With chant “you’re expressing something in pure melody."
Judith ValenteApril 25, 2017
Vivian Tuttle holds a photo of her daughter Yvonne, who was murdered during a 2002 bank robbery in Norfolk, Neb., as she testifies in favor of the death penalty at a public hearing in Omaha, Neb. in October 2016 (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, file).
The fight against the death penalty lays bare the strengths and weaknesses of the Catholic approach to pro-life issues.
Joseph P. HooverApril 25, 2017
Bill Nye's gags are every bit as goofy as they were in the ’90s. But his new show on Netflix is weighed down by a condescending attitude.
Eric Sundrup, S.J.April 25, 2017
A rally hosted by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont for a Nebraska Democrat prompted a flurry of questions about the party's pro-choice orthodoxy.
Michael O'LoughlinApril 24, 2017