For two uninterrupted years that began with the 2012 election cycle, federal, state and local politicians have promised to throw their full weight behind job creation.
During Martin Luther King Day, politicians made a special pledge to Black and Hispanic Americans that they would redouble their efforts for that population whose unemployment rate is more than twice the national average. The Congressional Black Caucus claims to be committed to improving “the financial status of African Americans through home ownership and other wealth-building programs.”
Returning veterans have heard the same empty words. Although Congress, to address veteran unemployment, has set up various task forces – like Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar’s “Building Job Opportunities for Returning Veterans” – more than 900,000 are jobless. The unemployment rate for California’s veterans is about 8.9 percent. By the way, an aside to what qualifies as employed. In an interview on Fox News, one veteran acknowledged that he’s working, but then added, “If you call parking cars a job.”
Based on the December 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics report that found a mere 74,000 new jobs were created, the politicians, considering their pathetic collective performance, should receive an “F” grade.
Defying logic and dismissing unemployed Americans’ concerns, the Black Caucus, Klobuchar along with her Democratic Senate colleagues and many like-minded House Democrats are feverishly working to pass an immigration bill that would legalize and give work permits to 12-20 million illegal immigrants, triple legal immigration to a total of 30 million within a decade and undermine unemployed Americans from all demographic, educational and age groups. Insiders refer to the closed-door, ongoing blanket amnesty negotiations as Beltway maneuvering. Advocates are invited to participate; those opposed are shut out.
In the meantime, nonpartisan, nonprofit Washington think tanks release an average of one report a week outlining in grim detail the jobs crisis. One of the latest is from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce which found that recent computer and mathematics graduates face 9.1 percent unemployment, while recent engineering graduates have an unemployment rate of 7.4 percent.
Then on January 17, Heidi Shierholz in her analysis titled “No Job Openings for More Than Three out of Five Job Seekers” found that the unemployment crisis is worse than it appears. More than 6 million would-be workers are neither employed nor looking for work because of the weak labor market. According to Shierholz, the bottom line is that “there simply are no jobs.”
Although House leadership is on record as saying that it will work up to the mid-term campaigning season in late spring to pass a series of immigration bills, because of strong grassroots resistance, realistically its window is much smaller, maybe March at the latest.
Put heat on Congress to defend American workers! Go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to SEND A FAX to your representatives demanding that unemployed Americans be a higher priority than work permits for illegal aliens.