One in Twelve

The new Bureau of Labor Statistics employment report for December was released Friday morning.  Brimming with optimism, I can say with full confidence that it is possibly the best employment report released so far this year and might be the best employment report to be released all year.

This is January, so let’s do a year in review, looking back over the third year of the New Great Depression and looking forward towards a fourth year:

Officially unemployed – December 2011:13,049,000

Officially unemployed – December 2012: 12,206,000

See now, how progress is being made in our economy?  Almost 850,000 Americans are now employed who were not so twelve months ago.  Ain’t that good, if you were an “Officially” unemployed American your chances of landing a full time job, well, not a full time, but a job were less than one in twelve.

Officially employed – December 2011: 140,896,000

Officially employed – December 2012: 143,305,000

Wow, now that is outstanding, 2,400,000 new jobs, but I have a question?  If there were 13,049,000 Americans officially unemployed last December, why are there still 12,206,000 officially unemployed this December?


Civilian Labor force – December 2011: 153,945,000

Civilian Labor force – December 2012: 155,911,000

Participation Rate – December 2011: 64.0

Participation Rate – December 2012: 63.6

Employment Population Ratio – December 2011: 58.6

Employment Population Ratio – December 2012: 58.6

No change, little improvement, as the number of officially unemployed has risen this month by 164,000.  Remember back when stores hired for the Christmas season?  A funny sort of a fable, like Santa Claus, which few but children would actually believe.

Could only find part time work – December 2012: 2,616,000

Okay, are you ready…drum roll please.

Marginally attached to the labor force – December 2011: 2,540,000

Marginally attached to the labor force – December 2012: 2,614,000

Discouraged workers – December 2011: 945,000

Discouraged workers – December 2012: 1,068,000

The duration of unemployment category also rose by at least 75,000 souls in every category, save the last one, the 27 weeks or more, the sweet good bye category.  As states manipulate the unemployment numbers, it allows them to discontinue extended unemployment benefits and accelerates the unemployed decent into abject poverty.

Not in labor force – December 2011: 86,640,000

Not in labor force – December 2012: 88,839,000


Americans no longer in the labor force, some retired, some retired because they couldn’t find a job.  Some folks retired at 62, because they couldn’t find a job.  The rest just washed away by the tides of misfortune and the abject neglect of their government.

Officially unemployed – December 2012: 12,206,000

Part time for economic reasons – December 2012: 7,918,000

Marginally attached to the labor force – December 2012: 2,614,000

Discouraged workers – December 2012: 1,068,000

Okay, are you ready…drum roll please, 23,906,000 American workers.  23,906,000 workers unemployed, under employed, forced out, forced down and given up:

Average weekly hours worked – no appreciable change in any category.

Average weekly take home pay – December 2011: $799.80

Average weekly take home pay – December 2012: $818.69

The average weekly paycheck rose less than twenty buck per week this year and for those working in retail; the rise was less than ten dollars per week.

 The number of mass layoffs (50 or more workers) rose this month to its highest level since October of 2009, with 1,759 mass layoffs, affecting 173,558 workers and their families.

The numbers are shocking, except, they aren’t numbers; they’re flesh and blood human beings.  There is no improvement in these numbers because the people in power don’t give a damn about improving these numbers.  In October of 2009, the Dow Jones industrial average was below 7,000, today it is above 13,000. The banks, the car companies and big business all got a bailed out, for the American worker, what did they get?  That much is obvious, but there is more, which is obvious.

This economy cannot continue on like this, this doddering sick old man will fall, sooner or later.  Then…hell’s a popping and then we shall measure ourselves against the yardstick of history.


Every lie is a poison; there are no harmless lies.  Only the truth is safe. Only the truth gives me consolation – it is the one unbreakable diamond. – Leo Tolstoy

We have a thousand and one conspiracies, simply because our government will not under any circumstances tell us the truth.  The truth is that they’re not trying to fix the unemployment problem.  Corporate profits are at record highs and the fiscal cliff negotiations couldn’t even raise taxes on couples earning almost $10,000 per week.

One man, one family driven from the land; this rusty car creaking along the highway to the west.  I lost my land, a single tractor took my land. I am alone and bewildered.  And in the night one family camps in a ditch and another family pulls in and the tents come out.  The two men squat on their hams and the women and children listen.  Here is the node, you who hate change and fear revolution.  Keep these two squatting men apart; make them hate, fear, suspect each other.  Here is the enlarge of the thing you fear.  This is the zygote.  For here 'I lost my land' is changed; a cell is split and from its splitting grows the thing you hate—‘We lost our land.’  The danger is here, for two men are not as lonely and perplexed as one.  And from this first ‘we’ there grows a still more dangerous thing: ‘I have a little food’ plus ‘I have none.’  If from this problem the sum is ‘We have a little food,’ the thing is on its way, the movement has direction.  Only a little multiplication now, and this land, this tractor are ours.  The two men squatting in a ditch, the little fire, the side-meat stewing in a single pot, the silent, stone-eyed women; behind, the children listening with their souls to words their minds do not understand. The night draws down.  The baby has a cold.  Here, take this blanket.  It's wool.  It was my mother's
blanket–take it for the baby.  This is the thing to bomb. This is the beginning–from ‘I’ to ‘we.’

If you who own the things people must have could understand this, you might preserve yourself.  If you could separate causes from results, if you could know Paine, Marx, Jefferson, Lenin, were results, not causes, you might survive.  But that you cannot know.  For the quality of owning freezes you forever into ‘I,’ and cuts you off forever from the ‘we.’ – John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

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