Sunday, February 8, 2009

Jobs in January

Where have all the jobs gone? January unemployment figures are just out and it is not a pretty picture. Here in the United States, 580,000 jobs disappeared during January, bringing the official unemployment rate up to 7.6%. As always, the official rate is far below the actual rate and things are much worse for minorities.

Things aren't any better in Canada where 129,000 layoffs in January marked the nation's worst ever monthly decline and brought the official unemployment rate to 7.2%. The UK , the EuroZone and Japan are faring no better. Iceland is off the charts and let's not even talk about the developing world. These monthly figures are much more than numbers. Each statistic tells a human story. Every percentage point represents a family sleeping in their car, a child without shoes or a winter coat, or an old person dumpster diving for dinner.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill American lawmakers are carrying on like it's business as usual, jockeying for political position and arguing over projects and points of view as they try to hammer out a stimulus package for the American economy which may or may not work. We don't have time for this nonsense anymore. Didn't the French Revolution teach the world anything? Why are we still saying "let them eat cake"?

It is time for the alpha dogs of the world to work together instead of challenging one another. Stop bickering and find those lost jobs or civil unrest will be the next chapter. There are already pockets of it here and there. Nothing stops a riot like a paycheck and nothing ensures cooperation like mutual interests. We are all in this together so let's find those lost jobs or June is going to make January look like a walk in the park.


In The Doghouse said...

The job situation is being felt all over the country. I have many friends who were in the mortgage industry who are looking for minimum wage jobs now just trying to support their families. It is a scary time, and yes, I believe that we will see June becoming even more unsettled.

pinkpackrat said...

Perhaps the silver lining will be that we will remember that community and character count:-)

JamaGenie said...

Great piece, ppr! I agree the silver lining may very well a renewed sense of community.

Shirley Anderson said...

This is very interesting, and scary to say the least.

I was not aware that the unemployment rate here in Canada had reached that level, though I'm not surprised. It seems that every week there's news of another plant layoff or closing.

Hopefully, you're right about a renewed sense of community. It's the perfect time for friends and neighbours to pull together. That's something good that can come of all this.

Great article, Pinkpackrat!