As Robert Reich points out here, under-employment is yet more yucky icing on a very nasty cake of unemployment figures. (Okay, Reich is far more eloquent and would never likely come up with such a pathetic analogy.) But still–yikes. From Bloomberg:
More Americans than ever worked only partial days in November as the deepening recession prompted companies to cut full-time employment.
The number of Americans saying they worked part-time last month due to economic reasons — either because their hours were cut or they couldn’t find full-time jobs — surged to 7.32 million, the most since records began in 1955, from 6.7 million in October, the Labor Department reported today.
The increase in part-time workers helped prevent the jobless rate — which rose to 6.7 percent last month from 6.5 percent in October — from climbing even more. Counting part- timers who would prefer full-time work, as well as discouraged workers who are no longer looking for jobs, the jobless rate would have jumped to 12.5 percent from 11.8 percent in October.
And to answer the question Reich asks in the title of his post, um yeah, it’s a Depression. I know it’s a matter of semantics, but since Karl Rove and Karen Hughes are busily trying to re-write history even as it happens, I think it’s only fair we get Bush’s name attached to this last bitter pill.
I propose we call it the “Bush Financial Depression,” at least for now. Hopefully it will not become Great Depression II. If things get that bad nothing can save one shred of the Bush-Cheney legacy.
At this point it’s not about blame. It’s about not listening in the future to people who have been clearly and repeatedly wrong about every last damn thing, military, economic and diplomatic. Basically, when a Republican opens their mouth, a traditional journalist should have a mental checklist about how many times that person has been utterly and completely wrong. Eight long years of right wing fantasy have led us to this point, and fantasy is something we can no longer afford.