The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Karen Traeger  202-785-5980  

Miserable Jobs Report Mocks Holiday Hopes


With fresh evidence in today's jobless report that it's tougher than ever to find work, Americans for Democratic Action-the nation's longest-established liberal advocacy group-called once again on Congress to extend unemployment benefits for the 15 million jobless Americans suffering through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Defying expectations and the holiday hopes of the jobless, unemployment rose to 9.8 percent in November. It was the 19th consecutive month the jobless rate has been above 9 percent, eclipsing a dubious record set 30 years ago in the Reagan recession. Moreover, the real unemployment rate-which counts those forced to work part-time and unemployed workers who've given up looking-remained at 17 percent.

Over 40 percent of the unemployed, or some 6.1 million workers, are classified as "long-term unemployed", having been out of work for more than six months. The unemployment rates for men and women, whites and Hispanics went up last month.

"The jobs report is miserable," commented renowned economist and ADA vice president James K. Galbraith. "The Pollyannas who have simply assumed an economic recovery just got slapped, and the rest of the country has yet another reason for anger at the politicians who wail about long-term deficits and do nothing about unemployment insurance or jobs."

"The farce that the recession is over rings hollow in most neighborhoods in this country." added Michael J. Wilson, ADA national director. "The best gift that the Congress and the Administration could give the country is a major jobs programs that lets us earn our way into a sustainable recovery. Freezing the wages of federal employees and threatening the benefits of Social Security recipients demands further sacrifice from the wrong people and does nothing to help build our economy."

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.