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February 5, 2010
2:19 PM

CONTACT: Americans for Democratic Action

Karen Traeger 202-785-5980;

Real Unemployment Rate at 16.77%

We Need Jobs!

WASHINGTON - February 5 - Americans for Democratic Action’s National Director, Michael J. Wilson, made the following statement about today’s unemployment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

“The real unemployment rate released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is 16.7% -- a full 7 points higher than the officially reported rate. 

“We are beginning to see signs of an economic recovery.  Even though we know that jobs are a lagging indicator, we know that is of little comfort to the millions who have remained jobless for week after week after week.

“In addition, as we enter African American History Month, the 24.3% African American unemployment rate means that nearly one in four African Americans is jobless.  The Congress and the President need to work together to make sure that the Great Recession’s contribution to history is ending the disparate impact joblessness has on the African American community.

Former Joint Economic Committee Economist and ADA partner Paul Manchester, said the following:

“The unemployment rate fell from 10.0% in December to 9.7% in January.  The number of unemployed also fell, from 15.27 million to 14.84 million, which is also good news. 

However, the average length of unemployment increased, from 29.1 weeks to 30.2 weeks, a record. 

The increase in the duration of unemployment more than offsets the drop in the number of unemployed, so the Manchester Index continued to rise, from 444.3 million weeks to 448.1 million weeks of joblessness.  However, it should be noted that this is the smallest increase the last 12 months.”

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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