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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/7/11

America's Sick Economy

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Its more comprehensive picture also "shows the duration of the long-term unemployed." In August, it revealed "an alarming additional 430,000 workers....hired as involuntary part timers, bringing their total to more than 8.8 million."

Several points are relevant. Employers are shifting growing numbers of workers from full to part-time status. It reflects the first step "many companies take before reverting to direct layoffs in greater numbers," as occurred in 2008.

As a result, Rasmus calls "(l)ast month's major rise in part-time employment (perhaps) the canary in the mineshaft indicating mass layoffs to come in a few more months," and continuing in 2012.

Moreover, the 430,000 rise in part-timers "represents an actual reduction of up to 215,000 jobs, as hundreds of thousands of workers are converted from" full to part-time status involuntarily.

Another dangerous trend was the "significant rise in the number of discouraged and marginally attached workers" in the past three months, a trend likely to continue.

Since June, 266,000 workers dropped out, as well as the 430,000 converted to part-time status - clear signs of a deteriorating labor market heading south.

Data for employed non-supervisory workers also "shows their average hourly wage and average weekly pay both declined" in absolute terms - before inflation impacted them further, especially for food, energy, medical and transportation costs, among others.

Obama will shortly announce his fourth job creation plan. After three previous tries, he struck out. Expect more of the same now, including tax cuts for businesses already sitting on $2 trillion they won't spend at a time they're beginning to shed, not add jobs.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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