Friday, November 13, 2009

October unemployment rate hits 10.2%: dozens of organizations launch national campaign for job creation

National Jobs for All Coalition
777 U.N. Plaza, Suite 3C
New York, NY 10017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October unemployment rate hits 10.2%: dozens of organizations launch national campaign for job creation.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Media Contacts:

Media Contacts:

Chuck Bell, National Jobs for All Coalition (914) 830-0639
Dr. Trudy Goldberg, National Jobs for All Coalition (203) 856-3877
Dr. Melvin Rothenberg, Chicago Political Economy Group (773) 573-0727
Dr. Sheila Collins, National Jobs for All Coalition (914)560-6485
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With official unemployment now in the double digits, a unique coalition of labor, religious, community, social welfare, educational and anti-poverty organizations will launch a national campaign to place the need for job creation at the center of the nation’s agenda November 13-14 in New York City.

Spearheaded by the National Jobs for All Coalition and the Chicago Political Economy Group the conference will take place in two different venues: Friday, November 13 from 9:00 AM-5:30 PM at the Interchurch Center, 475 Riverside Dr., Manhattan and on Saturday, November 14 from 9:00 AM-5:00 PM at District Council 37 American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers (AFSCME).

This conference follows on the Labor Department’s announcement today that official unemployment rose to 10.2 percent in October, the highest rate in almost three decades.

According to Dr. Melvin Rothenburg of the Chicago Political Economy Group, “the official unemployment rate doesn’t begin to tell the story of what’s happening to the American people. We should really be talking about a 19% unemployment rate,” he said. “If you include all the discouraged workers who have given up looking for work, part-time workers who want full-time jobs, and others who want a job but are not looking for a variety of reasons the figure comes to almost twice the official unemployment rate.”

Using the Labor Department’s estimates of the number of job vacancies, there are now nearly 13 job-wanters for each available job. Until lobbied by the National Jobs for All Coalition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not keep track of this kind of statistic, a more graphic way of illustrating how serious the unemployment situation is.

“31 million unemployed people in the richest nation in the world is not only an economic issue, it is a moral crisis,” said the Rev. Marcel Welty, conference coordinator. “People without jobs suffer spiritually as well as economically.”

“Without a productive workforce none of the things we want to accomplish in this country—health care for all, quality education for our children, social security and elder care protection, greening our economy, or infrastructure repair—can be achieved,” said Dr. Gertrude Goldberg, Professor of Social Work at Adelphi University and Chair of the National Jobs for All Coalition.

Conference organizers hope to catalyze the kind of political spirit that existed during the Great Depression when millions of the unemployed were put to work by the government, building America’s infrastructure, providing necessary goods for the indigent, conserving the country’s degraded natural resources, and producing historical archives and works of art that became part of the nation’s national cultural treasury.

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