Unemployment skyrockets as Congress dickers.
While Democrats and Republicans in Congress argue over a $850 Billion Economic Recovery Plan – whether it’s necessary, can the Country afford it, and should it be smaller – job possibilities shrink and longer term unemployment becomes the norm.
Unemployment figures vary, showing jobless numbers at anywhere from two to 10 million Americans. And those numbers are growing rapidly as more and more businesses either close their doors or cut huge numbers from their employment rolls.
“A job loss in America is, psychologically, a real big hit,” said Cathy-Ann Romero, 53, another co-leader, who lost her job as a human resources manager 10 months ago.
Ms. Romero, who holds two master’s degrees, recently applied for a part-time job as a packer on the overnight shift at an online grocery store to help make ends meet.
The Monday morning meetings at a church in this Chicago suburb, she said, help the members realize, “We’re not in it alone.”
Indeed, white-collar unemployment rose to 4.6 percent in December, up from 3 percent the year before. The figures still pale in comparison to the 11.3 percent unemployment rate for blue-collar workers. But Lawrence Mishel, president of the liberal Economic Policy Institute, said white-collar unemployment rose faster in the past year than in any other recession dating to at least the 1970s, even the devastating downturn of the early 1980s.
As the people mentioned in this Times article show, Congress needs to stop arguing about tax cuts versus spending and get on with it. The nation needs to get back to work before soup kitchens and tent cities make a strong comeback.