Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mama Don't Dance

Trey Smith

I'm reading an article by Greg Kaufmann, Revealing the Real TANF, and one particular number really jumped out and grabbed me. According to Dr. LaDonna Pavetti of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, in 2011, 38 percent of single mothers with a high school education or less are NOT working. Since there are a lot of single mothers in this country, that represents a lot of people without paying jobs (being a mom is a job in itself).

I will grant that a portion of that 38 percent is not looking for work, so we realistically can't say that 38 percent are officially unemployed. But even if we say that only 50% are looking for work, then we have an unemployment rate of 19 percent or almost 1 in 5! That would seem to belie the increasingly rosy employment picture being drawn by the President and his lieutenants.

Yes, Wall Street is booming right now, but that boom doesn't seem to be trickling down to the unwashed masses. White professionals may be finding jobs, but if you're not a professional or white or male or you happen to be very young or fairly old, you too often find that you are shit out of luck!

My brother has been looking for work for months. He reports to me that even dinky, piddly-ass jobs are drawing a huge number of job seekers. We're talking about jobs that pay minimum wage or slightly higher with NO benefits. He recently applied for a very measly job and was told that he was one of 100 applicants! 100 applicants for a job that would barely keep a person's head above water!

I know many people in the same predicament as my brother. They apply and apply and apply. They go on job interview after job interview to no avail. A lot of these people would settle for flipping burgers or cleaning out toilets, but even those kinds of thankless jobs attract far more applicants than there are positions available.

This is why I no longer have ANY faith in the government's monthly employment statistics. They appear to be numbers that some bureaucrat pulled out of their derriere.

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