Unfortunately for many Americans, Labor Day wasn’t the long weekend break earned after a summer of strenuous labor. It’s been more like an extended vacation for some, one that is hard to enjoy with bare cabinets and mortgage check fulfillment questions. People are surviving, but it is hard to look at the historical context of the situation without losing perspective in the current.
Mother Jones released these 10 statistics for Labor Day that show the dire situation the American worker finds themselves in.
25.3 million Americans: The true size of the unemployment crisis. This figure includes people who are out of work, forced to work part-time, or unable to find a full-time job, as well as those who want to work but have given up searching for a job in the past month, most likely out of frustration.
6.9 million jobs: How many fewer jobs there are today than in December 2007.
0.22 jobs: The number of jobs out there for every person looking for work. (In other words, there’s 1 job for every 4.5 job seekers.) This stat underlies all those stories of fruitless job searches as well as the historic long-term unemployment level. Speaking of which…
25: The number of times since January 2009 that monthly job growth failed to keep up with basic population growth (roughly 150,000 jobs a month). All those headlines saying job growth has stalled are wrong; it’s not even doing that.
43%: The percentage of jobless workers who haven’t pulled a steady paycheck in more than six months. That’s 6 million workers.
16.7%: The jobless rate for African-Americans. Black unemployment is now at its highest in 27 years.
11.3%: The Hispanic unemployment rate. This figure has held steady since February 2009.
17.7%: The unemployment rate for 16- to 24-year-olds of all races, ethnicities, and educational backgrounds. Often overlooked, youth unemployment has a long-term toll; young people who enter a weak job market are almost guaranteed to earn less over their lifetimes than those who find jobs during boom times.
280,000: The number of jobs the American economy needs to add each month to fill its 11.3 million-job deficit by the middle of 2016.
35,000: The average number of jobs the economy actually added in the past three months.