Open Forum: Recovery? Hardly. | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Open Forum: Recovery? Hardly.

Posted: February 11, 2011 - 7:10pm

The Great Recession of 2007 is not over. Far from it. 

Today’s “News” from the Labor Department reported a surprising drop to 9 percent in the percentage of workers actively looking for work. That’s one way of reporting how many in the work force are unemployed. Political pundits are feeding on this report. The sudden drop over the last two months was from 9.8 percent. Manufacturing jobs are now increasing. What about the pay scales of newly-hired workers? Overall, fewer new jobs were created than are needed to keep up with the population entering the workforce. 

This writer has been there — in 1970 and 1982. I never filed and took unemployment pay, so I went unreported. Writing about these gaps in my resume took creative skill. Just like the fictitious reasons top executives give when they “resign” their positions. In news accounts these missing workers (without jobs) are termed “discouraged.” They know that after trying for six months, one year, or longer, there just aren’t any decent opportunities in their line of work. They will have to face relocation, retraining, or early retirement. They already carry the humiliation of failing to succeed, failing to hold on, and the loss of their dream. 

Did you leave to “spend more time with your family?” Or to “manage your personal investments? Truth is, you were fired. Terminated. Down-sized. Let go. So now the work force is “leaner” and more productive than ever. Profits are up. Costs are down. But consumer demand depends of cash, bank deposits, and credit. 

Welcome to 21st Century America! The era of tax cuts and unemployment. Yet sales taxes have never been higher. Property valuations have fallen, but property taxes are rising. It’s all about the Middle Class. Millions are sliding into poverty where many already reside. Recovery? Hardly. 

Gordon Prickett

Aitkin