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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 11/11/10

There Simply Aren't Enough Jobs to Employ Four out of Five Unemployed Americans

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Message Mark Karlin

It's deja vu all over again from earlier this year, with the Republicans once again seeking to cut off extended federal unemployment benefits. Without Congressional action, millions of Americans without jobs will have no financial support come the holidays.

Contrary to GOP talking points, receiving unemployment checks does not make people lazy, although it might make them anxious and depressed because there are no jobs for 80 percent of the people seeking them.

A recent analysis of government unemployment figures and job data reveals the devastating reality:

There simply aren't enough jobs to employ four out of five unemployed Americans, according to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The total number of available jobs in September was 2.9 million, according to a BLS report released Tuesday. It's a decline of 163,000 job openings from the previous month. During that same period, there were about 14.8 million people unemployed, BLS data show (hat tip to Economic Policy Institute).

A simple calculation shows that the ratio of unemployed people to job openings was 5.0 to 1. Put another way, there are only enough jobs to employ a fifth of the unemployed population.

Reality and facts are something the Republican Party regards with disdain, because they often don't fit its self-serving talking points.

Yet, jobs don't create themselves. It's just another dangerous fantasy of "prosperity theology" that people who lose their paid work deserve it in the divine order of things, that they are on God's bad side.

That's a dangerous and reckless use of religion and a selfish "deficit-cutting" obsession that benefits the rich.

Come Christmas, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner should alternate playing "Scrooge" in a modern political adaptation of "A Christmas Carol."


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Mark Karlin is founder, editor and publisher of, a website providing headlines, news and commentary to over five million people a month. He is a gun control activist with a focus on Illinois.
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