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15 Difficult Truths About U.S. Unemployment.

  • Sadly, 43 percent of all American families spend more than they earn each year.
  • According to Gallup, the unemployment rate was at 8.3% in mid-January but rose to 9.0% in mid-February.
  • The percentage of working age Americans that have jobs is not increasing.  The employment to population ratio  has stayed very steady (hovering between 58% and 59%) since the beginning of 2010.
  • If you gathered together all of the workers that are “officially” unemployed in the United States into one nation, they would constitute the 68th largest country in the entire world.
  • In January of 2009, the number of “long-term unemployed workers” in the United States was approximately 2.6 million.  Today, that number is sitting at 5.6 million.
  • The average duration of unemployment in the United States is hovering close to an all-time record high.
  • According to Reuters, approximately 24 million American workers are either unemployed or underemployed right now.
  • There are about 88 million working age Americans that are not employed and that are not looking for employment.  That is an all-time record high.
  •  According to CareerBuilder, only 23 percent of American companies plan to hire more employees in 2012.
  • In the year 2000, about 20 percent of all jobs in America were manufacturing jobs.  Today, about 5 percent of all jobs in America are manufacturing jobs.
  • The United States has lost an average of approximately 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
  • Amazingly, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been shut down since 2001.
  • According to author Paul Osterman, about 20 percent of all U.S. adults are currently working jobs that pay poverty-level wages.
  • Since January 2009, worker health insurance costs have risen by 23 percent.
  • An all-time record 49.9 million Americans do not have any health insurance at all at this point, and the percentage of Americans covered by employer-based health plans has fallen for 11 years in a row.


How To Support Unions At Your Next Tailgate Or Party. Really?

This from, the AFL-CIO blog site.

For millions of Americans, fall marks the time to obsess over football – be it on the couch, in the bleachers, or in the stadium parking lot. Football season is a great opportunity to bring people together for the shared love of the game. Whether fair-weather football fans or fanatics, it’s likely not everyone in the crowd will be a die-hard union fan. Understandably, when fewer and fewer people have had direct experience with a union, there’s less of a chance they see unions as key to rebuilding America and the middle class. But you can help clear up myths and help shed light on what unions are all about. In fact, game day is a great place to start creating a bigger union cheering section. We’re here to help with some simple facts and talking points so you’re ready the next time you encounter someone who simply misunderstands or stands against unions – on or off the field.

MYTH: There’s nothing made in the USA anymore, especially not by unions.

FACT: Union-made products are all around us and at affordable prices. Chances are you’ve hosted a union-made tailgate without even knowing it.

Snacks – Doritos, Lays, Crunch & Munch, Corn Nuts, Oreos, Ghirardelli Chocolates, Kraft snack products, Wise snacks, Snyder of Berlin, Planter’s Nuts

Meats – Hot dogs: Oscar Meyer, Nathan’s, Hebrew National, Ball Park, Hormel; Sausages & Brats: Johnsonville, Armour, Eckrich, Poultry: Butterball, Healthy Choice, Hormel, Smithfield, Tyson

Condiments – Heinz ketchup, French’s mustard, Gulden’s mustard, Land O’Lakes butter, Open Pit BBQ sauces, Pace salsa and picante sauce, Vlasic pickles

Soft Drinks – Coke and Sprite products

Juices – Welch’s, Minute Maid

Beers – Anheuser Busch, Budweiser, Busch, Icehouse, Labatt’s Blue, Leinenkugel’s, Michelob, Miller, Molson, Pabst, Rolling Rock

Footballs – Don’t forget to play catch at halftime, with a football made by Wilson. The game balls used in professional games are made by union workers in Ohio.

BONUS: You can feed and entertain your friends and family at a tailgate or in your living room and support good jobs by procuring these union-made, USA-made snacks and beverages.

MYTH: Professional athletes don’t need unions.

FACT: All workers deserve a voice on the job.

Players’ unions have given the athletes that entertain and amaze us a fair share of the revenue they create and help protect them on and off the field.

The National Football League Players Association and the Major League Baseball Players Association, for instance, fight to protect the health and safety of the players who put their bodies on the line for the team. Their efforts have improved player healthcare coverage and helped implement needed protections for injured players.

Because of the players’ unions, retired players are not left behind. Unions give the retired players who built the industry pensions and healthcare coverage.

By uniting as a group, the players form a needed counter-balance to the owners. When discussing rule changes, scheduling matters, disciplinary issues, and the future of the game, the players’ unions give the players a voice.

Like our sporting heroes, many stadium workers that help make our fan experience so enjoyable are union members. These seasonal employees have better job security and wages because of their unions.

Read the rest at American Rights at Work blog via AFL-CIO.org here.


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