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May 8, 2009
11:17 AM

CONTACT: Americans for Democratic Action

David Card 202-785-5980  

Real Unemployment at 15.8%: Highest Level Since ADA Began Tracking

WASHINGTON - May 8 - The real unemployment rate released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is 15.8%, nearly 7 points higher than the rate officially reported.

The real rate includes marginally attached workers which the BLS reports “are neither working nor looking for work but indicate that they want and are available for a job and have looked for work sometime in the recent past.  Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached, have given a job-market related reason for not looking currently for a job.  Persons employed part time for economic reasons are those who want and are available for full-time work but have had to settle for a part-time schedule.”

Since April 2008, 6 million people have lost their job.  ADA’s Real Rate of Unemployment represents a staggering 23 million people who are unemployed or underemployed.

The increase of another 563,000 jobless claims for April 2009 was the smallest rise in 6 months, providing some evidence that government stimulus is working but underscoring the urgent need to put more government dollars to work motivating the private sector to begin hiring laid-off workers.

ADA National Director, Amy Isaacs, said: “While the Republican Party of No is looking backwards, rather than coming up with new ideas to help America’s working families, President Obama and Democrats in Congress are moving forward with a bold agenda.  There is still much to do as record lay-offs continue and economic challenges abound, but we share the optimism of leading economists who believe the worst is behind us.”

ADA is America's most experienced independent liberal lobbying organization. In the spirit of the New Deal and ADA founders Eleanor Roosevelt, renowned economist John Kenneth Galbraith, and former Senator and Vice President Hubert Humphrey we lobby through coalition partnerships, through direct advocacy, and through the media.

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