When I saw the headline in my local paper, I wanted to laugh out loud. But that’s really hard to do when you’re gritting your teeth.
The headline proclaimed, “Jobs lost during slump regained.” It was another smiley-face sticker that the establishment media keeps trying to slap over America’s jobs crisis. This story gushed that the private sector, which had punted 8.8 million jobs after Wall Street greed crashed the economy in 2007, has now reached the “milestone” of restoring those jobs. So see, everything is okey-dokey – and all of you hard-hit workers should quit bellyaching.
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Beneath the headline, though, is a much grimmer reality, for what has happened to America’s workaday majority is not a “slump,” but a full-blown financial disaster. First, while private-sector jobs are are up, public service jobs are still short of the number we had before the crash. Also, population growth since 2007 means that several million new job seekers have entered the market. So, happy headline aside, job creation is nowhere near the growing demand for employment. That is truly teeth-gritting news, especially for the millions of long-term unemployed Americans who’ve been jobless for half a year, two years or more.
Second, most of the positions added by the private sector are temporary, part-time “jobettes,” with low-pay and no benefits. In fact, the hiring report that prompted the joyous headline shows nearly half of the new jobs were added by temp agencies, restaurants, hotels, and retailers – all notorious, low-wage employers.
The only thing more shameful than these hopeless media attempts to put a rosy glow on America’s unabated jobs crisis is the crisis itself. The headline this story deserves is: Wall Street Executives, Corporate Lobbyists and Their Congressional Hirelings Continue to Undermine America’s Middle Class.
“Jobs lost during slump regained,” Austin American Statesman, April 4, 2014.