Have you been unemployed for over a year? Not according to the Federal government; you simply have stopped looking for a job.
The 8.1 percent unemployment rate that the Federal government flashes around to
assure the common folk that the economy isn’t really that bad is an unreal underestimate of the number of people who can’t find work. Let’s not even discuss suitable work where a person can make a living; own a home or rent an apartment, own a car and pay the car insurance not to mention pay $4.25 for a gallon of gas.
The current rate of 8.1 percent, recently released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is based on the “fact” that thousands of unemployed people simply gave up their search for a job and, therefore, are no longer unemployed; maybe they won the lottery or came into a huge inheritance.
Long Island’s unemployment rate shot up to its highest level in two and a half years; maybe some of the former unemployed people decided to get back into the job market since the economy is doing so well? I doubt it.
A number of people outside of the government believe that the real unemployment rate is closer to 20 percent; that is one nearly of every five people in the work force. Because Long Island has one of the highest costs-of-living in the entire United States it is not only necessary to find a job but to find a job by which you can make a living. By that I mean afford to live in an area with one of the highest costs-of-living in the nation, put a roof over your families head, pay unrealistically high property taxes, extremely high auto insurance rates, the highest electricity rate in the country and the list goes on and on.
A friend of mine worked for a prosperous company here on Long Island. He had a team of customer service reps reporting to him and he needed to add to his staff. He was told by upper management not to pay more than $10 per hour and to find experience help. In reality I do not think that someone could live in their car in the parking lot of an office building on a salary of $10 per hour; certainly not here on Long Island. So someone forced by circumstance to accept this job is technically not unemployed but is unable to make a living and may still qualify for food stamps and public health insurance.
In other words the employer is forcing the government to supplement the salary that they are paying. Does that sound fair to you?
So unemployed or under-employed the beat goes on. The question is how to fix this mess and get the country back to work, earning a living. Maybe it is time to give this matter some serious thought as you enter the voter’s booth.
- Patrick Ingegno can be reached at email@example.com or www.innercircledebtsolutions.com