Monday, June 1, 2009

Federal Stimulus Should Address Huge Growth in Underemployment

Good article from the Washington Independent quotes NJFAC's Trudy Goldberg and Phil Harvey

t r u t h o u t -- Underemployment Presents Challenges:

...There's no single agency that tracks the underemployed, so researchers have to cobble together data from all corners of the economy to come up with an estimate on disenfranchised workers. According to Philip Harvey, a professor of law and economics at Rutgers School of Law, the United States is short by nearly 23 million jobs, a far greater number than the 13.7 million of officially unemployed workers.

Gertrude Goldberg, chair of the National Jobs for All Coalition, says that lowballing the number of distressed workers leads to an inadequate response. "By under-defining it you reduce the notion of a mass of people at risk in terms of tomorrow," she said. And while they may disagree on precisely how to count underemployed Americans, nearly all agree that their growing numbers could lead to problems both in the short term as well as in the

Despite these troubling clues, though, [Goldberg says] the government hasn't been aggressive or inclusive enough in designing stimulus programs that help out the underemployed as well as the unemployed. Although the federal government has extended unemployment benefits and given states money to boost the benefits by a nominal amount, none of this helps the employee forced to work a four-day week or take a part-time job to replace lost full-time employment...

Read rest of article

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