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Working America's Dismal State

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Working America's Dismal State - by Stephen Lendman

Two recent studies documented it, both discussed below. In May 2011, Northeastern University's Center for Labor Market Studies (NECLMS) headlined, "The 'Jobless and Wageless' Recovery from the Great Recession of 2007 - 2009: The Magnitude and Sources of Economic Growth Through 2011 (Q I) and Their Impacts on Workers, Profits, and Stock Values."

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From 2007 - 2009, private sector wages and salaries declined sharply, while unemployment, underemployment, and their median and mean durations skyrocketed.

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER: the official US business cycle arbiter), the recession ended in June 2009. Public opinion polls sharply disagree. Two by ABC in May and June 2010 found 88 - 90% of respondents rating the economy "not so good" or "poor." They should know. They feel it.

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A May 2010 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed 76% of respondents saying America's recession continued, 62% believing it wouldn't end for one or more years. Hardly a testimony to "recovery."

In November 2010, a Heldrich Center for Workforce Development study found 89% of respondents saying the economy wouldn't recover for another year or longer, and 56% said three years, if ever. Moreover, almost 90% believed healthy employment levels would take many years to achieve or perhaps never.

In March 2011, an AP/Viacom poll of 18 - 24 year olds found 75% calling the economy "approximately poor, somewhat poor, or very poor." Only 9% said it was "very good or somewhat good."

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Despite NBER's declaration, US households disagree with good reason because they're unemployed, underemployed, underpaid, living through hard times, and see little assistance from Washington or state capitals helping them when it's most needed. 

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