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Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See for full contents of our site

January 11, 2010


Tom Eley, World Socialist - Unemployment: At over 10 percent, the official US jobless rate reached in October and November was the highest since June of 1983. A broader measure of unemployment, taking into account those who have fallen out of the official workforce, reveals that something approaching one in five workers is unemployed or underemployed.

The economy has not added jobs since December 2007. . .

38 percent of the unemployed have been without work for 27 weeks or longer. . .

Detroit, its principal city and the longtime hub of US auto production, had an official unemployment rate of 27 percent. The real rate approaches 50 percent, a number in line with the worst levels of big city unemployment during the Great Depression. . .

There were some 5.6 million workers who had both exhausted their unemployment benefits and given up looking up for work. . .

In real terms, average weekly wages fell by 1 percent last year, while worker productivity was ratcheted up by 8.1 percent in the third quarter and 6.4 percent in the second.

In October, a survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association found that about one in ten mortgages was at least one payment behind, while four percent were in the process of foreclosure.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that filings for personal bankruptcy rose to 1.41 million in 2009, up by almost one third. . .

47 million Americans, 16 percent of the population, were living below the official poverty line. . . .

In November, the United States Department of Agriculture reported that a record 49 million Americans, one sixth of the population, lacked dependable access to adequate food in 2008.

Six million Americans, or 1 in 50, report no income beyond what they receive in food stamps through . . .

According to a recent study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, about half of US children will rely on food stamps at some point during their childhood. The figure is 90 percent for black children.

The caseload of the government’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program increased by 25 percent in 2009, and is projected to increase by another 20 percent in 2010.

Among the 27 major cities surveyed by the US Conference of Mayors report, 19 reported an increase in family homelessness between the autumns of 2008 and 2009. . .

A study by the Pew Research Center published in November shows that one in ten adults under the age of 35 has moved back to his parents’ home as a result of the recession. Overall, half of those aged 18 to 24 now live with their parents.

Only about half of young people have jobs, the lowest figure on record dating back to 1948.

Those who do graduate [from college] enter the worst market for degree holders in 30 years, and with record levels of student debt.

The unemployment rate for college graduates aged 20 to 24 reached 10.6 percent in the third quarter.

One in ten male high school dropouts, ages 16 to 24, is currently either in prison or juvenile detention. Among black male high school dropouts, more than a fifth are incarcerated. 1 in 31 US adults is behind bars or on probation or parole.


Blogger b.f. said...

The official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for all African-American workers—youth, male and female--also jumped from 15.6 to 16.2 percent between November and December 2009; while the unemployment rate for African-American female workers over 20 years-of-age jumped from 11.7 to 13.1 percent between November and December 2009, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

January 11, 2010 10:25 AM  

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