The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: David Card 202-785-5980

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


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.