I usually don’t write about things which are politically charged but felt that I needed to address the issue of employment in the United States. Usually stuff like this isn’t on my radar but the struggles I’ve had the last few years with hiring new employees has made me sensitive to the subject.
The news has been filled lately with accusations and counter-accusations about the number of jobs that have been created over the last four years. While jobs have been created, the number of jobs created has barely kept up with the number of new workers entering the job market. Therefore, the number of unemployed individuals has remained fairly steady and the current administration has chosen to extend unemployment benefits several times to help those who have been unable or perhaps unwilling to find adequate work. In spite of these extensions of benefits there have still been people who have used up all their benefits and have either drop off the unemployment grid and are no longer counted as unemployed or have had to settle for jobs they are way overqualified for a lesser pay then they are accustom to receiving. In essence, they are under employed.
This is what I take issue with. If the only jobs being created are in the service sector and they aren’t really suited for someone needing an income to support a home and family should they still be consider the full time equivalent
of a job? I think not. I believe these jobs are intended to be part-time by nature but are now being filled by people who are in desperate need of income. These people have displaced students who have usually occupied such positions as evening and weekend work. Because these students are not eligible for unemployment they are not counted on the statistics, thus a under reporting of the number of people looking for work.
A full time job equivalent in my opinion would be one that provides a household the means to pay for housing, transportation and food with some portion left over for savings and discretionary spending. Unless such jobs are created the United States will not rise above its “current economic conditions”. The politicians always say “current economic conditions” or “the worst economic conditions since the great depression”. Are they afraid to call it what it is, a recession? All the economic indicators are there; and, how can we have the worst economic conditions since the great depression and not be in a recession?
To all of the politicians out there it is time to call and ace and ace and a spade a spade. Under employment is not full employment and until you acknowledge that we are in a recession and that we are not creating quality jobs we won’t be able to make the appropriate corrections to rise above the economic challenges that face this country.