UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

September 5, 2009

WHY IS THE MEDIA DOWNPLAYING THE JOB CRISIS?

Robert Reich - The latest employment figures (released Friday)show job losses continuing to grow. . . Bottom line: almost one out of six Americans who need a full-time job either can't find one or is working part-time. Meanwhile, wage growth among people who have jobs has just about stopped. . . . At the same time, furloughs -- requiring workers to take unpaid vacations -- are on the rise: recent surveys show 17% of companies imposing them. More than 20% of companies have suspended their contributions to 401(k)s and similar pension plans.

So why isn't the media screaming? Partly because these job and wage losses are not, for the most part, falling on the segment of our population most visible to the media. They're falling overwhelmingly on the middle class and the poor. Unemployment among those who have been in the top 10 percent of earnings is closer to 5 percent, and their earnings continue to climb -- although, to be sure, much more slowly than before the meltdown. It's much the same with health-care and pension benefits. Among people under 65 who are in the bottom 20% of incomes, only 21.9% have employer-sponsored health insurance -- if they have a job at all. Half of all people nearing retirement age have a 401(k) balance of less than $40,000. . .

2 Comments:

Anonymous Mairead said...

As Reich says: because there is no job crisis among the people who count.

September 7, 2009 8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh didn't you know? The recession's over; the Fed has officially confirmed it. Therefore a job crisis now exists only among those slackers who never wanted to work in the first place.

September 11, 2009 10:59 AM  

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