Little progress against unemployment

Little progress against unemployment

October 11th, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

John Gooch files for unemployment at the Georgia Department of Labor office in Dalton, Ga.

"Discouraging" is one fitting way to describe the negative U.S. unemployment reports that have been coming in month after month.

There just isn't enough job creation going on in the United States to push down the high unemployment rate, and that sadly held true for the month of September.

Newly released figures from the U.S. Department of Labor show that joblessness remained stuck at 9.1 percent in September -- representing no change from the August unemployment rate.

About 100,000 jobs were technically added in September. But even that limited job growth was deceptive, because nearly half of those jobs were not actually newly created. Rather, they were simply the rehiring of about 45,000 Verizon Communications employees who had been on strike.

And the job creation that did take place was insufficient to make a dent in our too-high unemployment rate. The U.S. economy needs to be producing well over 100,000 jobs per month just to keep up with normal growth of the workforce from new high school and college graduates and from immigration. And we need to create well over 200,000 jobs per month to make any real progress on reducing joblessness.

Plainly, that is not happening. And yet President Barack Obama's "solution" to high unemployment is to urge Congress to pour more taxes and borrowed money into a new "stimulus" bill -- even though the previous stimulus failed and left the country burdened with greater debt.

We're going in the wrong direction, but Washington doesn't seem willing to make the necessary U-turn.