Obama's Unemployment Problem - The Intrepid

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Obama's Unemployment Problem

The animation above was created by labour writer LaToya Egwuekwe, using the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau's statistics. As of October 2009 (the most up-to-date statistics) more than thirty-one million Americans are unemployed.

Although health care and Afghanistan are vexing issues, Obama's biggest problem—at least for the upcoming mid-term elections—is unemployment.

Obama knows this, which is why on Tuesday, in a speech at the Brookings Institution, he proposed a series of job growth initiatives aimed at encouraging hiring, including tax cuts for small businesses, opening up new lines of credit, using some of the leftover TARP to help small businesses, and infrastructure and clean energy projects.

"Small business, infrastructure, clean energy: these are areas in which we can put Americans to work while putting our nation on a sturdier economic footing," Obama explained. "These have been a tough two years, and there will no doubt be difficult months ahead. But the storms of the past are receding. The skies are brightening."

Obama has a tough road ahead. Although the economy is showing signs of improvement (last month companies only shed 11,000 payroll jobs), a full recovery is still a long way off.

Most official reports peg unemployment in the U.S. somewhere at 10%, but the real figure—when you take into account the people who have stopped searching for work and the underemployed—is probably around 18%.

Now there's just one question: with America's manufacturing sector practically annihilated and middle-class white collar jobs almost extinct, where are these new jobs going to come from?

Video by LaToya Egwuekwe (via Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish).

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