Unemployment and Labor Day

Since this is Labor Day weekend we ought to pause a moment to think about all those who want to work but can’t.

I mean all those who are presently unemployed or underemployed in our country.   There is always some unemployment.  But I do have to say in my half century I don’t remember so many out of work.  It kind of reminds me of my parents memories of the Great Depression.  They got married in 1936.  So they remembered very well what it was like.

And it seems that there are more and more folks not working.   According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics we are at 9.6 percent unemployment. But you have to remember there are some people who have fallen off the roles they have been out of work so long!  So the number is higher.  And of course here in Los Angeles there are lots of freelancers like actors and actresses who don’t have regular employment so the numbers of unemployed are even higher.  The service sector which has been responsible for creating most jobs in this economy slowed its growth.  It grew but at a slower pace.  This continues to make it impossible to replace the millions of jobs that have been lost in this devastating economic upheaval.  Read this report from the Associated Press on this very topic.

This isn’t just about factory workers in Michigan. But it is about them. It is also about lawyers and professional people.  It is about new college grads and people over 55 who have been fired because they made “too much” and now can’t find work because of ageism or they are “overqualified.”  Read this article about the 10 highest paid CEO’s who laid off the most workers!

The economic realities of today’s America are vastly different from 10 years ago.  It is time that corporation invest in America by creating jobs rather than dividends.  It is time that corporations stop taking jobs overseas and invest in America by creating work at home. And it is time for all of us to hold them accountable and our politicians.

So if you are one of the underemployed or unemployed this Labor Day weekend, remember that at this season of the Jewish New Year one of the things we pray for is “parnasah tovah”  financial sustenance.  You are in our prayers.

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