The New Normal: Few Jobs, Less Union Members

February 8. The stock market may be at record highs, but the job market still stinks. I didn’t have a chance to look at last Friday’s government job numbers until now. The BLS says there were 157,000 more jobs last months, sending the stock market into a frenzy. However, e-pop, the employed as a share of the population, was still 58.6% just up 0.1% from a year ago. The total of people without work and those working part time because they can’t get full time is still over 20 million.

So the number of jobs is only going up only as fast as the population. It’s a New Normal and it’s lousy.

The New York Times had an article yesterday saying that in the last few years layoffs have touched nearly every American household.

One in four have been laid off at some point in the last few years. Eight out of ten has known someone in their family or in their circle of friends who has lost a job.

And people are getting stupider, I mean more ignorant. A couple of years ago nearly half blamed “Wall Street” for our troubles. Now it’s down closer to a third. Blaming immigrant workers is more popular. ” Four in 10 also said they believed illegal immigrants were taking Americans’ job opportunities.”

The national union leadership is hopeless (I say this as a 42 year union member, keeping my membership though semi-retired.) Not only did they pour tens of million to support a candidate who did squat for them and dissed them by holding the Democratic convention in the least unionized state in the country, but they do not demand the obvious, a massive federal jobs program.

Let’s be honest. The people running the national unions are making salaries in $300-$600 thousand dollar range. Their salaries put them in the 1%. Yes, I know they’re just elected officers and can lose their position in a few years. But how many do? How many instead keep their jobs until their doddering? I hate to recommend this site  because it’s anti-worker and anti-union, but as far as I can tell it researches union leader salaries correctly (and unions and liberals don’t). Here’s a 2011 article about union leader pay from perhaps a slightly less anti-union source, a Wisconsin newspaper.  Read this one about the head of the Boilermaker’s union  He got the job when his daddy retired from it!

Though you would think a person running a huge union would have to be thinking night and day how to help the rank and file, once they make the big money and have the political machine to keep them permanently in a gravy job they gradually get the” big picture”. They become “realistic’ and understand “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, etc. etc.

And we wonder why union membership as a share of the work force has dropped to a 97 year low?


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