We all know the unemployment rate in America is devastatingly high right now -- but most people don't know how bad it really is. Aside from those out of work, many Americans are "underemployed" and only able to work part-time. The House Republican Conference policy shop published a paper today on this subject:
On October 8, 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statics (BLS) reported that 95,000 jobs were lost in the month of September and the unemployment rate held at 9.6 percent. Though heartbreakingly high, the unemployment rate alone does not fully illustrate the true turmoil in the U.S. job market. Millions of Americans have jobs, but are struggling to get by each week because economic uncertainty has left employers hesitant to offer full-time work. Millions of others want to work, but have become discouraged and have stopped actively searching. In either case, these 12 million people are not counted when the government calculates the number of “unemployed” Americans. As a result of rampant underemployment, 41.8 million Americans now depend on the government to put food on their family’s table—more than the entire population of Spain and nearly three times the number of people who are officially unemployed. To assess the true depths of the failure of the Democrats’ economic policies, the impact ofrecord underemployment must be accounted for.