How recovered is the job market?

Between February and April 2020, the US economy lost over 22 million jobs, almost 15% of total employment. That was by far the largest job loss since the early years of the Great Depression. Between 1929 and 1932 or 1933 (depending on whose numbers you use, since there are no solid, official stats), 20–25% of jobs disappeared (again, depending on whose numbers you use). Since World War II, however, the worst contraction, the Great Recession of 2008–2009, killed just over 6% of all jobs—a big number, but well short of 15%. Since… Read More

Radio commentary, November 20, 2010

Stumbling recovery continues • bourgeois theories of unemployment • who gets UI? • how the StimPak helped • models for budget-cutting [The commentary also included an analysis of health lunacy, which I’ve posted separately.] stumbling along The U.S. economy continues its stumbling recovery. On Thursday, we learned that first-time applications for unemployment insurance, filed by people who’d just lost their jobs, rose slightly last week after falling decently the previous week—a fall that exactly reversed the rise of the previous week. The four-week moving average, which smoothes out the weekly volatility in… Read More

Radio commentary, April 30, 2010

March on Wall Street The WBAI studios are on Wall Street, of all places, so I was able to catch a glimpse of the anti-bank demonstration sponsored by the AFL-CIO and a coalition of community groups organized by National People’s Action (Showdown in America). It’s inspiring, but I’m afraid there’s just not the level of popular mobilization necessary to overcome the lobbying power of big finance. The unions are blowing off some steam today, but tomorrow they’ll go back to writing big checks to Democratic politicians and apologizing for their failings. And,… Read More