In the latest sign that the jobs crisis remains dire, new state unemployment data released on January 22 show that joblessness rose in 43 states during the month of December. Unemployment now stands at 14.6% in Michigan, 12.6% in South Carolina, and 12.4% in California, with rates of underemployment significantly higher.
As EPI continues to promote its American Jobs Plan and push for aggressive policy action to create millions of badly needed jobs, it is also emphasizing that any jobs creation program has to be large enough to address the magnitude of the current problem. “We have to aim high,” EPI President Lawrence Mishel told a January 21Senate hearing. He said any jobs creation effort must be done “on a scale that can really make a difference.” Compounding the problem of more than 15 million unemployed workers, Mishel said, are the 3.5 million workers who have dropped out of the workforce over the course of the recession. Many of them are discouraged workers who are likely to return after job growth resumes, which could cause unemployment rates to rise further.
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