The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

David Card 202-785-5980; 

Real Unemployment Rate at 17%

ADA Calls for Unemployment Benefits Extension


Americans for
Democratic Action, proud liberals fighting on behalf of working and unemployed
Americans for 62 years, released 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 17%, over 7 points higher than the
officially reported rate," said ADA National Director Michael J. Wilson

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."

"We cannot underscore enough the seriousness of the unemployment
situation," Wilson
continued. "There is no recovery
without job creation."

"The latest BLS report shows 35.6% of the unemployed have been
without work for more than 27 weeks.

"Unemployed for a day, you can make it. Unemployed for a month, you will struggle.
Unemployed for six months and you are facing disaster. It's not just how many are jobless, but
also for how long.

"It is critical that the Senate pass the extension of
unemployment benefits quickly, otherwise hundreds of thousands of Americans
will lose their benefits. Unemployment
benefits are critical not just to sustain families, but as a continuing
economic stimulus since they are spent on groceries, housing, utilities, and
other necessities. We must continue to
build jobs and consumer confidence and resist government paralysis in order to
avoid a double dip recession."

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.