"The disastrous employment prospects facing teenagers is just one
indicator of the ongoing social crisis facing the working class more
than six years into the so-called economic “recovery” proclaimed
by the Obama administration, which has witnessed an immense
growth of poverty and mass unemployment amid the vast
enrichment of the US financial oligarchy."
SHOULD ALL THE JOBS STILL GO TO ILLEGALS???
Summer joblessness for US teens remains near record levels
By Nick Barrickman
Six years after the official end of the 2008 recession and the proclamation that the United States was in the midst of an economic “recovery,” employment prospects for teenagers, who traditionally seek temporary employment after schools close for the summer months, remain dire.
8 July 2015
“Despite significant improvements in the U.S. labor market and the economy over the past few years, teenagers are still facing Depression Era-like labor market problems,” noted a study published by Drexel University in May.
Since 2000, the share of youth ages 16-19 working during the summer months fell from nearly 52 percent to less than 27 percent today; the largest drop in employment for any age group throughout the period, according to the Drexel report.
Year-round employment for youth dropped from 45 percent to 27 percent since 2000, according to the Labor Department. Employment for those aged 20-24 also plummeted during this period; dropping by 9.8 percent.
Over 3.23 million teenagers wished to work but could not find employment, representing a level of under-employment of more than 40 percent for this age demographic, the highest of any working-age group.
Although there are millions more teenagers today compared to 15 years ago, the number of teens employed in 2014 was 4.5 million, compared to 7.2 million in 2000.
The Drexel report noted that wealthy teens are much more likely to hold jobs over the summer. Less than 20 percent of youth from homes with annual incomes lower than $20,000 held a job in 2014, compared to 41 percent from homes with incomes of $100,000 to $149,000.
The Drexel report notes that despite the fact that “[w]ork experience provides young people with… desirable behavioral traits… that are important across all occupations and careers in the labor market… It is a sad fact that given such positive impacts of summer employment among teens, the summer job prospects have diminished in the U.S. since the beginning of the decade.”
In recent years, federal budgets passed by Democrats and Republicans have slashed funds to numerous job-training programs benefiting working-class youth.
In 2013 alone, a report by the National Skills Coalition (NSC) found that the federal sequester budget cuts implemented that year slashed at least 25 percent of the funding for 35 percent of all job training and workforce support programs.
New York City, where in 1999 over 82 percent of all funding for youth job programs came from the federal government, now receives no federal money for jobs programs for teenagers.... but millions of jobs go to illegals and billions in welfare!
In May, New York City’s Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the further slashing of $24 million in public grants for the city’s summer youth programs.
A report released by the University of Chicago Crime Lab last year found youth enrolled in that city’s summer work program were 43 percent less likely to be arrested for violent crime. Last weekend, street violence claimed the lives of 7 young people in Chicago, including a seven-year old.
Mass youth unemployment is an international phenomenon. In Spain, youth unemployment stands at 53.2 percent; In Greece, currently wracked by a massive debt crisis, 52.4 percent of young people remain jobless, as do 34.7 percent in Portugal.
A recent report issued by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows that the number of youth neither in education, employment or training (NEET) has reached record levels in developed countries.
The disastrous employment prospects facing teenagers is just one indicator of the ongoing social crisis facing the working class more than six years into the so-called economic “recovery” proclaimed by the Obama administration, which has witnessed an immense growth of poverty and mass unemployment amid the vast enrichment of the US financial oligarchy.
The worth of a society can be measured by the prospects it holds out for young people. By that measure, the conditions facing youth under the present social order stand as an indictment of the capitalist system.
… illegals still get the jobs and welfare
"The politicians don’t care about the working and young people. We have billions in student loan debts, but they don’t help us, but they give billions to the wealthy."
2 September 2013
The fraud of Obama’s “Student Aid Bill of Rights”
By Nancy Hanover
23 March 2015
trillion in student loan debt were offered zero
forgiveness. In fact, Obama does not propose
even one measure to actually lessen the ever-
escalating cost of college or encroach on the
lucrative business of student loan debt. All the
“rights” remain in the hands of the
government, the banks and hedge funds.
bill of goods. At every point, his administration has protected the
financial industry in looting an entire generation of students,
preventing millions of young people from either attaining the
education they desire or making them pay through the nose for the
rest of their lives.
AMERICA: No Legal Need Apply!!!
“Meanwhile, millions of native-born Americans, especially men, have abandoned the job market altogether. The percentage of men aged 25 to 54 who are working or looking for work has dropped to the lowest point in recorded history.”
While the growth of social inequality has dramatically accelerated following the 2008 crash, this is a continuation of a decades-long process. The report notes, “Top 1 percent incomes grew by 80.0% from 1993 to 2014. This implies that top 1 percent incomes captured almost 60% of the overall economic growth of real incomes per family over the period 1993-2014.”
In fact, the US government’s response to the 2008 crash has been dedicated to inflating the wealth of the super-rich while driving down incomes for the vast majority of the population. The White House has protected Wall Street executives from legal prosecution, while the Federal Reserve has handed out trillions of dollars in cheap money through “quantitative easing” programs, leading share values to triple on major US exchanges.
On Thursday, US President Barack Obama plans to unveil what he has called a major new policy initiative in a speech in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The proposal entails new federal rules that would make an additional 3 percent of the US population eligible for overtime pay. If adopted, the change would add a mere $1.3 billion to worker’s wages annually. This is a tiny fraction of the trillions of dollars that have been transferred to the financial elite since the 2008 financial crisis.
"During the month, some 432,000 people in the US gave up looking for a job." EVEN AS JEB BUSH, HILLARY CLINTON and BERNIE SANDERS PREACH AMNESTY! AMNESTY! AMNESTY!
"The American phenomenon of record stock values fueling an ever greater concentration of wealth at the very top of society, while the economy is starved of productive investment, the social infrastructure crumbles, and working class living standards are driven down by entrenched unemployment, wage-cutting and government austerity policies, is part of a broader global process."
HILLARY CLINTON'S BIGGEST DONORS ARE OBAMA'S CRIMINAL CRONY
"A defining expression of this crisis is the dominance of financial speculation and parasitism, to the point where a narrow international financial aristocracy plunders society’s resources in order to further enrich itself."
Federal Reserve documents stagnant state of US economy
Federal Reserve documents stagnant state of US economy
By Barry Grey
The US Federal Reserve Board last week released its semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress, providing an assessment of the state of the American economy and outlining the central bank’s monetary policy going forward. The report, along with Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s testimony before both the House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as a speech by Yellen the previous week in Cleveland, present a grim picture of the reality behind the official talk of economic “recovery.”
21 July 2015
In her prepared remarks to Congress last Wednesday and Thursday, Yellen said, “Looking forward, prospects are favorable for further improvement in the US labor market and the economy more broadly.”
She reiterated her assurances that while the Fed would likely begin to raise its benchmark federal funds interest rate later this year from the 0.0 to 0.25 percent level it has maintained since shortly after the 2008 financial crash, it would do so only slowly and gradually, keeping short-term rates well below historically normal levels for an indefinite period.
This was an expected, but nevertheless welcome, signal to the American financial elite, which has enjoyed a spectacular rise in corporate profits, stock values and personal wealth since 2009 thanks to the flood of virtually free money provided by the Fed.
"But as Yellen’s remarks and the Fed report indicate, the explosion of asset values and wealth accumulation at the very top of the economic ladder has occurred alongside an intractable and continuing slump in the real economy."
In her prepared testimony to the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee, Yellen noted the following features of the performance of the US economy over the first six months of 2015:
* A sharp decline in the rate of economic growth as compared to 2014, including an actual contraction in the first quarter of the year.
* A substantial slackening (19 percent) in average monthly job-creation, from 260,000 last year to 210,000 thus far in 2015.
* Declines in domestic spending and industrial production.
In her July 10 speech to the City Club of Cleveland, Yellen cited an even longer list of negative indices, including:
* Growth in real gross domestic product (GDP) since the official beginning of the recovery in June, 2009 has averaged a mere 2.25 percent per year, a full one percentage point less than the average rate over the 25 years preceding what Yellen called the “Great Recession.”
* While manufacturing employment nationwide has increased by about 850,000 since the end of 2009, there are still almost 1.5 million fewer manufacturing jobs than just before the recession.
* Real GDP and industrial production both declined in the first quarter of this year. Industrial production continued to fall in April and May.
* Residential construction (despite extremely low mortgage rates by historical standards) has remained “quote soft.”
* Productivity growth has been “weak,” largely because “Business owners and managers… have not substantially increased their capital expenditures,” and “Businesses are holding large amounts of cash on their balance sheets.”
* Reflecting the general stagnation and even slump in the real economy, core inflation rose by only 1.2 percent over the past 12 months.
The Monetary Policy Report issued by the Fed includes facts that are, if anything, even more alarming, including:
* “Labor productivity in the business sector is reported to have declined in both the fourth quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015.”
* “Exports fell markedly in the first quarter, held back by lackluster growth abroad.”
* “Overall construction activity remains well below its pre-recession levels.”
* “Since the recession began, the gains in… nominal compensation [workers’ wages and benefits] have fallen well short of their pre-recession averages, and growth of real compensation has fallen short of productivity growth over much of this period.”
* “Overall business investment has turned down as investment in the energy sector has plunged. Business investment fell at an annual rate of 2 percent in first quarter… Business outlays for structures outside of the energy sector also declined in the first quarter…”
The report incorporates the Fed’s projections for US economic growth, published following the June meeting of the central bank’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee. They include a downward revision of the projection for 2015 to 1.8 percent-2.0 percent from the March projection of 2.3 percent to 2.7 percent.
That the US economy continues to stagnate and even contract is indicated by two surveys released last week while Yellen was testifying before Congress. The Fed reported that factory production failed to increase in June for the second straight month and output in the auto sector fell 3.7 percent. The Commerce Department reported that retail sales unexpectedly fell in June, declining by 0.3 percent.
These statistics follow the employment report for June, which showed that the share of the US working-age population either employed or actively looking for work, known as the labor force participation rate, fell to 62.6 percent, its lowest level in 38 years. During the month, some 432,000 people in the US gave up looking for a job.
The disastrous figures on business investment are perhaps the most telling indicators of the underlying crisis of the capitalist system. The Fed report attributes the sharp decline so far this year primarily to the dramatic fall in oil prices and resulting contraction in investment and construction in the energy sector. But the plunge in oil prices is itself a symptom of a general slowdown in the world economy.
Moreover, a dramatic decline in productive investment is common to all of the major industrialized economies of Europe and North America. In its World Economic Outlook of last April, the International Monetary Fund for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis acknowledged that there was no prospect for an early return to pre-recession levels of economic growth, linking this bleak prognosis to a general and pronounced decline in productive investment.
The American phenomenon of record stock values fueling an ever greater concentration of wealth at the very top of society, while the economy is starved of productive investment, the social infrastructure crumbles, and working class living standards are driven down by entrenched unemployment, wage-cutting and government austerity policies, is part of a broader global process.
The economic crisis in the US and internationally is not simply a conjunctural downturn. It is a systemic crisis of global capitalism, centered in the US. A defining expression of this crisis is the dominance of financial speculation and parasitism, to the point where a narrow international financial aristocracy plunders society’s resources in order to further enrich itself.
While the economy is starved of productive investment, entirely parasitic and socially destructive activities such as stock buybacks, dividend hikes and mergers and acquisitions return to pre-crash levels and head for new heights. US corporations have spent more on stock buybacks so far this year than on factories and equipment.
The intractable nature of this crisis, within the framework of capitalism, is underscored by the IMF’s updated World Economic Outlook, released earlier this month, which projects that 2015 will be the worst year for economic growth since the height of the recession in 2009.