Job Numbers Stink, but Not Everyone’s Unhappy

Job numbers for March are out and they’re not good.  The best measure, “e-pop” (employed adults as a percent of the population), is down a tenth of a percent.  Despite all the ballyhoo about “recovery” from the Great Recession e-pop is only up three tenths of a percent since its 2009 bottom.

The “official” useless rate went down a tenth of a percent.  Why? Because people were giving up looking for jobs in massive numbers.  Last month 600,000 joined the group “not in the labor force” meaning they’ve stopped looking for work.   The number “not in the labor force” is up a staggering two million from the same time last year.  And here’s something: The percent of men in the labor force in their prime earning years 45-54 is at its lowest since 1948.

But there’s a silver lining (if you already own a silver serving set and a fur coat in need of a lining.)  The New York Times had a front page article  in which it reported on estimates of  amount of money hidden “offshore” in the banks of  tiny island nations.  Part of it was based on the work of the Tax Justice Network which has been saying the amount rich people have squirreled away is between $21 and $32 trillion.

This is old news (Democracy Now! talked about it last July and one of our flyers details it), but what is new is that somebody leaked vast amounts of data about the names and amounts being held in the secret accounts.  What do I mean by vast?  How about 20 gigabytes of embarrassment, 160 times what Wikileaks put out in its massive 2012 report on State Department files.

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