The Black Unemployment Picture
(The American Prospect) — The October unemployment report was released today, and the news is that there’s been little overall change. The unemployment rate hovers at 9.6 percent and the U-6, “overall” unemployment rate, which includes discouraged job-seekers and folks forced to work part-time because of the economy, edged down slightly to 17 percent. 151,000 non-farm jobs were created last month, a recent high. In total, the private sector created 159,000 jobs while 8,000 government jobs were lost, which, as Matt Yglesias points out, is exactly what conservatives say they want: less government, more private sector. It’s particularly telling that over the last year, the net increase in employment has been 874,000 jobs, but the private sector has actually created 1.1 million — the difference comes from including government layoffs in the picture. Imagine what might have happened had government increased hiring during a recession and what that might have meant for the economy.