Saturday, April 16, 2011

Jeebus! Fewest people working since 1983

USA Today ran this important story the other day:
The share of the population that is working fell to its lowest level last year since women started entering the workforce in large numbers three decades ago.
Here are some of the frightening conclusions:
  • Until the 1960s, more than 80 percent of men worked. Last year, just 66.8 percent of men had jobs, the lowest on record.
  • Only 45.4 percent of Americans had jobs in 2010, the lowest rate since 1983 and down from a peak of 49.3 percent in 2000.
  • Since 2000, the population of non-working adults has grown 27 million while the nation added just 3 million children under 18.
  • The share of women holding jobs rose from 36 percent in 1960 to 57 percent in 1995, then leveled off. The rate was 56 percent in 2010.
There's a terrific interactive map as well, which shows the percent of the population working in each state. The numbers for California are scary.

Clearly, we need to generate more jobs. Unfortunately it isn't obvious to all our elected representatives that the way to do it is NOT to destroy collective bargaining rights, reject high-speed rail money or give tax cuts to wealthy people.