The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

David Card 202-785-5980;

Real Unemployment Rate at 16.8%

ADA Calls for Unemployment Benefits Extension


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 16.8%, 7 points higher than the officially reported rate.

"President Obama's economic recovery plan is working but the real rate of unemployment underscores an urgent need to spur more hiring.

"A jobless recovery is not a recovery.

"When Congress returns in September they must extend unemployment benefits to address the millions of American workers still struggling to find work," Wilson said.

"Americans want to work but until the private sector begins hiring, the Federal government has an obligation to ensure those who cannot find a job are not left out on the street.

"Further, Congress needs to tackle a serious, comprehensive jobs and job training package for those whose jobs are not coming back.

"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."

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.