Yesterday, the February Jobs Lost number was released. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate held steady at 9.7 percent but a more thorough calculation of JOBLESSNESS shows a true unemployment rate of 18.6 percent.
According to the BLS, more than 36,000 people lost jobs last month. If we are to believe the media hype by the talking heads on yesterday's reporting of February's Jobs Lost numbers, we all were witness to this report being heralded as GOOD NEWS. President Obama "lauded" the jobs lost number as did many of the media and other political pundits.
What isn't reported or covered, is the long term unemployed rate and that is where the focus needs to be, as the number of real unemployed workers increased last month by 487,000 for a total of 29.7 million jobless, versus 29.3 million in January. This 29.7 million jobless number includes the 14.9 million workers who are forced to work part-time, those who WANT to work but haven't searched for a job in the past 4 weeks, as well as individuals who have simply given up on finding work because they no longer believe there are jobs available.
The Senate has been working this past week on Bill HR 4213, Senate amendment 3336 which would extend the EUC Law and Cobra benefits for the rest of 2010. What isn't being addressed is that many of the long term unemployed lose all benefits this month and without added benefit tiers, many also lose the lifeline that unemployment benefits have been providing. So while the media and our President paint the rosy picture that less jobs have been lost, in the background, is a stark portrait of millions who are long term unemployed and under employed and they have been forgotten.
It's time that the long term unemployed and the under employed in this Country, stand up and make their voices heard. It is time to demand that our representative voice in Washington address this situation by the addition of more benefit tiers and real JOBS creating legislation, and the perfect vehicle is the current Bill (HR4213) that comes up for vote in the Senate next week.
Personally, I believe that the unemployed and under employed need to get organized! Presenting a unified front is needed to bring the much needed awareness that is missing from this issue. Keep the calls and letters going to our leaders and impress upon them, that to ignore the 29.7 million jobless and underemployed in this Country is a travesty with untold consequences waiting to unfold.