For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Karen Traeger 202-785-5980; karen@adaction.org

Real Unemployment Rate at 16.77%

We Need Jobs!

WASHINGTON - 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.”

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