As usual on the First Friday at 11:30 AM, I showed up at the Bureau of Labor Statistics office (A. Maceo Smith Federal Bujilding, Corner Griffin & Young in downtown Dallas) to hand out leaflets calling for serious government action against unemployment. This time, I didn't stay long, because I was surprised to learn that the "Occupy Dallas" protesters had left the Kennedy Memorial, where they spent Thursday night, and moved to Pioneer Park, just across the street from me. Around 11:45, they marched out toward the financial district, and I couldn't resist going along. While we picketed at Bank of America, I continued leafleting passersby.
Usually, people are really nice about taking my leaflets. Some of them stop to talk about the problem and what to do about it. Here's what my October leaflet said:
"Government employment continued to trend down over the month (-34,000). The U.S. Postal Service continued to lose jobs (-5,000). Local government employment declined by 35,000 and has fallen by 535,000 since September 2008." --Bureau of Labor Statistics 10/7/11
While most hiring trended flat or slightly upward, government layoffs continue to be the worst news in our jobs crisis. Instead of creating jobs, as they did to good effect during the last great economic disaster, politicians are hell-bent on making the jobs crisis worse! In fact, most of the job losses so far have come from deliberate state and local government action, with humongous federal job losses unregistered as yet but already on their way.
Other bad news from the BLS shows that long-term unemployment, discouraged worker unemployment, and forced part-time work continue to rise. In other words, even though the long-time low of 9.1% unemployment continues to be the "official" rate, the crisis continues to worsen for America's workers.
The immediate solution, pioneered in the late 1930s, is government-created jobs programs to improve our infrastructure and economy. The Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps must be revived. President Obama's "Jobs for America" bill, almost a minimal effort, should be passed right away.
North Texas Jobs with Justice, Gene Lantz, 214-942-4236, email@example.com, www.labordallas.org