US Unemployment Issues

Topics: Unemployment, Household income in the United States, United States Pages: 6 (1415 words) Published: March 30, 2014


09/20/2013

U.S. Unemployment Issues
Fluctuation of unemployment rates is a natural occurrence in any economy. Many speculate that if something cannot be done to resolve the current issues plaguing the rate of unemployment in the U.S. the result will soon be an economic crash resembling the Great Depression of the 1930’s. This is something that we as a nation continue to address but cannot seem to get under control, causing our economy to sustain substantial damage. This is a highly debated issue among many; one that has many speculated causes and what would seem to be few definite answers leading to potential solutions. According to The Associated Press at NJ.com, “The gap in employment rates between America's highest- and lowest-income families has stretched to its widest levels since officials began tracking the data a decade ago, according to an analysis of government data conducted.” When analyzing the unemployment rates while separating the data according to level of income it is seen that the rate of unemployment for workers earning a salary less than twenty thousand a year has risen above twenty-one percent in recent statistics. It is known that the majority of U.S. citizens fall in or around this level of income associated with lower to middle class. Recently President Obama stated, “The folks in the middle and at the bottom haven't seen wage or income growth” which, when paired with the fact that this rate nearly matches that of all workers during the Great Depression, it is apparent that the country is dealing with a large issue. When observing the unemployment rates of households generating an income amounting to at least one hundred and fifty thousand dollars annually, the unemployment rates are on average around the 3.2 percent range according to The Associated Press at NJ.com in co ordinance with the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. This statistic is said to be typically defined as a level of full employment. Unfortunately this income bracket holds only a small fraction of workers in the U.S. as shown when reviewing the 2001- 2011 U.S. Median Household Income trends provided by Quartz in affiliation with WorldPress as follows:

As shown by the graph, there was a steady rise in household income beginning in 1993 and lasting through 1999. Then from 2000 and on through 2004 average incomes decreased before rising slightly from 2005 through 2007. After 2007 the average salaries acquired by U.S. households has maintained a constant decrease, shifting the income of most individuals toward the twenty thousand dollar bracket previously discussed as the area containing a substantial unemployment rate in contrary to the one hundred and fifty thousand a year, full employment category. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “median household income in the United States in 2011 was $50,054, a 1.5 percent decline from the 2010 median and the second consecutive annual drop,” providing a precise numerical in association with the graph.

It has been established that the unemployment rate has a significant correlation with the levels of income in the U.S., but how does it trend for the country as a whole? Data compiled as of August 2013 presents the unemployment rate as given by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics at 7.3 percent. Further detail relating to current shifts in the unemployment rate is presented in the graph below:

When observing the graph many settle for the fact that from February of 2010 on the rate of unemployment has maintained a slow but steady decrease, dropping from approximately 10 percent down to the latest 7.3 percent. In his article The Real U.S. Unemployment Rate and Our Future, author Samuel Madden is quick to point out that this downward trend is not as good as most may see it when further considering the fact that the employment-to-population ratio has only increased 0.2 percent from the recorded 58.5 percent in 2010 to 58.7 percent in 2012. This statistic given by the U.S....

Cited: "Median US Household Income, 2001-2011" Quartz. 6 March 2013. Web. http://qzprod.
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