“The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending March 5 was 8,766,062.”
This data is part of the recently published data made available by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on Thursday, March 24, 2011. If one has been tracking the statistic above, found in the BLS’s weekly reports, their first impression might be that the unemployment problem in America today is improving due to the reduction in this number. Since the first of the year, and as compared to figures from a year ago, nothing could be further from the truth!
What this data really shows is that the population of 99ers, the long term unemployed that have used up all of their available unemployment benefits, continues to grow at an incredible pace. People are simply exhausting their claims and moving onto the welfare roles as job creation data does not even come close to indicating that people, once unemployed, are now able to find jobs.
Some important statistics from the weekly report show the following:
11,316,420 People claiming benefits/prior year
-8,766,062 People claiming benefits/last week
2,550,358 The total loss of people claiming benefits
To sustain the notion that the job market and the economy are picking up, one would have to see a commensurate increase in the overall number of jobs over a 12 month period that would support the notion that enough jobs were created to support the decrease in the number of people claiming benefits (i.e. that the unemployed actually found jobs). A review of additional monthly BLS data released on March 4’TH indicates that only a total of 621,000 jobs have been created from the period of Feb. 2010 to Feb. 2011 (review of data that represents the total employment level – LNS12000000). The level of people no longer claiming benefits far outstrips the number of new jobs created.
2,550,358 The total loss of people claiming benefits in a one year period
– 621,000 Jobs created from Feb. 2010 to Feb. 2011
1,929,358 The potential number of new 99ers created during the same period
The impact of retirements on this data should be normalized between years since employment figures used are seasonally adjusted numbers for identical time periods. One might contend that there has been a glut of new retirees in 2011 versus 2010, but they would have to backup that claim with some data to support it, and it is highly unlikely that the year to year impact has seen a significant change in the percentage of people retiring from one year to the next.
The conclusion drawn from this data is that Congress needs to seriously crank up their virtually non-existent efforts towards job creation and get on their horse for passing additional forms of financial relief (H.R. 589) for millions of America’s 99ers going without benefits today. Millions of 99ers, and their family members, are suffering while nothing is being done to lift a finger to help them during these horrible economic times. America cannot continue to ignore the massive loss of jobs that has occurred over the years anymore! It is time to enact legislation that will spur on a massive job creation initiative and to create a bridge so that 99ers can see their way clear to make it to the next job. All of this needs to happen YESTERDAY!