10 Eye-Popping Labor Day Stats

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/70323761@N00/3661075593//">wallyg</a>/Flickr

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


Labor Day was created more than 100 years ago to celebrate the might, ingenuity, and achievements of American workers. But for many, this year’s holiday is a painful reminder of how few good jobs are out there. To mark this Labor Day weekend, here’s a roundup of 10 eye-popping statistics on the American jobs crisis. It’s a sobering snapshot of the issue that worries Americans more than any other—and which hangs over President Obama as he gears up for his big jobs speech on Thursday (not to mention his reelection campaign).

25.3 million Americans: The true size of the unemployment crisis. This figure includes people who are out of work, forced to work part-time, or unable to find a full-time job, as well as those who want to work but have given up searching for a job in the past month, most likely out of frustration.

6.9 million jobs: How many fewer jobs there are today than in December 2007.

0.22 jobs: The number of job openings per one unemployed worker.

Twenty-eight out of 32 months: The number of months since January 2009 that job growth failed to keep up with basic population growth (roughly 150,000 jobs a month). All those headlines saying job growth has stalled are wrong; it’s not even doing that.

43%: The percentage of jobless workers who haven’t pulled a steady paycheck in more than six months. That’s 6 million workers.

16.7%: The jobless rate for African-Americans. Black unemployment is now at its highest in 27 years.

11.3%: The Hispanic unemployment rate. This figure has held steady since February 2009.

17.7%: The unemployment rate for 16- to 24-year-olds of all races, ethnicities, and educational backgrounds. Often overlooked, youth unemployment has a long-term toll; young people who enter a weak job market are almost guaranteed to earn less over their lifetimes than those who find jobs during boom times.

280,000: The number of jobs the American economy needs to add each month to fill its 11.3 million-job deficit by the middle of 2016.

35,000: The average number of jobs the economy actually added in the past three months.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate