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.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

“My folks taught us that if someone is hungry, you feed them. That if someone is thirsty, you give them drink. If someone is a stranger you welcome them into your home.”
Michael O'LoughlinFebruary 27, 2017
Almost all major cities in the United States have experienced major decreases in violent crime over the past 25 years.
James T. KeaneFebruary 24, 2017
This is not a country at ease with itself, if it ever were. The United Kingdom continues to display more and more intolerance and anger.
David StewartFebruary 24, 2017

On St. Patrick’s Day, we celebrate our Irish heritage and our good fortune to be Americans.

George J. MitchellFebruary 24, 2017