The current job-creation numbers are meaningfully below the level we might expect during a period of record corporate earnings and the reaching of new peaks in the major stock market indices.
Let’s go to the videotape –
The unemployment rate is 7.7%. But, there is another 0.6% of discouraged workers,(about 800,000) mainly the young, minorities and those without the all-necessary high school diploma. Another 0.9% are only marginally employed (whatever that means) and have mostly stopped looking for a job recently. More crushing is the 5.1% of the workforce most impacted by the 2008 downturn, who are working only part-time and would prefer to have a full-time position. That 5.1% part-time workers total 8 million people, who mostly are having trouble making ends meet and most likely have no health plan from their employer, according to Bob Eisenbreis, vice chairman and chief monetary economist at Cumberland Advisers, a New York-based investment firm that makes useful comments on the economy.
These numbers added together suggest that the true unemployment level– when part-time workers are included– is 14.3%–meaning that one in seven of every potential full-time employee in the U.S. economy is not able to earn a proper living wage–and thereby contribute to the snails-pace of economic growth.
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