Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Investment banks recover but not American workers!

The nation lost another 85,000 jobs in December.

15.3 million Americans are unemployed, up from 7.7 million when the Great Recession began in December 2007.

The unemployment rate remained at 10% only because 661,000 workers dropped out of the labor market altogether and are no longer considered unemployed. If they had continued looking for work the unemployment rate would be 10.4%

Equally disturbing 40% of the unemployed have been unemployed for two years or more.

There are now 6.4 job seekers for every available job.

If discouraged workers and those working part time who want full time work are included 27 million workers (17.3%) are either unemployed or underemployed, twice as many as when the recession began. While white underemployment has more than doubled over the course of the recession to 14.6%, underemployment is now 24.3% for black workers and 25.1% for Hispanic workers: A staggering one in four minority workers cannot find the amount of work they want.

The high rates of unemployment are effecting those left on the job. Real (inflation adjusted) wages fell by 1.6% last year-the largest drop since 1990. Inflation adjusted pay has now declined in five of the past seven years.

But don't worry. On Friday JPMorgan Chase announced that it earned $11.7 billion last year, $3.3 billion in the last quarter alone. The firm has earmarked a whooping $26.9 billion for employee bonuses. Next week the nation's largest banks such as Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Citigroup will dole out six, seven and even eight figure bonuses.

The investment banks and bankers have recovered even if the American people have not!

As John Stewart wryly noted: "The only people who have recovered from the financial meltdown are the ones who caused the financial meltdown!"


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