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Un-Reported Unemployment

September 4, 2009

According to the Washington Post, the U.S. Labor Department has determined the unemployment rate in America to be a “soaring” 9.7%. An increase from the prior month by .03%.  However, I have to wonder, why does the MSM (main stream media) neglect the further effects of this jobless resurgence? Why does it not delve deeper into the statistics? For instance the rate of unemployment in black America is at a whopping 15.1%! For men 20 and over it is an astounding 17%! But you do not hear these delineations, among which are:

• Number unemployed: 14.9 million (up from 7.5 million in Dec 2007)
• Underemployment rate: 16.8%
• Unemployment rate, ages 16 to 24: 18.2%
• Male unemployment: 10.9%; female unemployment: 8.2%
• White unemployment: 8.9%; black unemployment: 15.1%; Hispanic unemployment: 13%
• Unemployment rate, young college graduates: 5.9% (2nd worst on record)
• Traditional ratio of young college grads’ unemployment to overall rate: 50%; Current ratio: 70%

That’s just the unemployment statistics, further, reporting from the Economic Policy Institute conclude that the outlook for those who have not had breaks in their level of employment due to the recession, still have very little to be excited about. Wage increases have dropped to 0.7% over the last three months, and for women only 0.3% for the last year!

If these statistics are what recovery looks like, than we’re in for a very long winter!

All of these statistics are tragic, but more tragic is the fact that the MSM reports this economic crisis in such a highbrow manner. It is cursory, and non-specific. It is corporate oriented to the point that the most crucial points of reporting is the stock tickers flow.

It would appear to me that our government has lost its passion for its people, and replaced it with a passion for it’s pockets. Because a jobless recovery is no recovery. Not for a rapidly shrinking middle-class, not for a burgeoning class of poor and under-employed. Where is the heart of the press? Is not the  purpose of the third estate to hold the government of a nation to scrutinies fire?

Maybe I’ve forgotten what government for the people is.  But I do not think so. I believe James Baldwin, were he to live in this time, would say with sincerity that the need for a deeper level of conscience in our national press is sorely needed. For

Society is held together by our need; we bind it together with legend, myth, coercion, fearing that without it we will be hurled into that void, within which, like the earth before the Word was spoken, the foundations of society are hidden.

We need our press to express our need, to uncover the myths and speak truth.

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