Capitalist economists have touted a drop in the official
unemployment figures as signs of the “economic recovery.” Yet, recent studies
by the Center for Economic and Policy Research show that the latest decrease in
official unemployment was due to the fact that over 650,000 workers “left the
labor force” in June. Every day, over 20,000 workers stopped looking for work.
The employment-to-population ratio, another measure of
joblessness, fell to 58.5 percent compared to 58.7 percent the previous month
and 64.7 percent in April 2000, a clear sign of economic decline. African
American men have been hardest hit, with the largest decreases in the
employment to population ratio.
As for the unemployed, workers generally have had to search
for jobs for an average of over six months, while state and local governments
continue to shed jobs by about 13,000 a month.
The economic crisis has allowed the ruling class to use
state budget cuts to directly divide and attack workers. Only a united,
multinational working-class movement can beat back the capitalists to demand a
job as a right.