The why’s, what’s and who’s of long-term unemployment

BY:Scott Marshall| May 9, 2012

This week we look at the several aspects of long-term unemployment – contributing factors, who it effects and how. Also, some analysis of the election results in France and Greece as they pertain to austerity. And, some hope for job creation in Connecticut and from the labor movement. 

All About Long-Term Unemployment

We know the Great Recession has been going on far too long already, and some of its casualties are people who have been unemployed for a year or even a few years. Ezra Klein writes about the psychological scars of unemployment in a recent blog post, which links to a helpful article detailing who the long-term unemployed are. 

The GOP Response to Long-Term Unemployment

In short, the answer to those who want work is the trite and offensive, “get a job.” That’s what RepublicanGov. Paul LePage of Maine said on Sunday. The GOP thinks that austerity is the way to go, but as the above chart (from this episode of The Rachel Maddow Show) illustrates, negative growth of the public sector is not helping workers recover from the Great Recession. France and Greece have learned this lesson, as pointed out by John Wojcik in the People’s World and Paul Krugman in the New York Times. 

Labor and the People’s Fightback

In a recent People’s World article, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka reminds us that Bush lost U.S. jobs during a good economy. Obama has created jobs during the disastrous economy he inherited – in spite of the fact that the Republicans in Congress have blocked nearly all efforts to create jobs. Meanwhile, in Connecticut, 2,000 marched in New Haven for jobs. And finally, something penned by yours truly on the Labor fightback during the Great Recession.

Please make sure to visit the People’s World online for the best in worker’s news!

Other resources to check out: – – Unemployed Nation –




    Scott Marshall is a vice chair of the Communist Party and chair of its Labor Commission. Scott grew up in Virginia where he first became active in the civil rights movement in high school, working on voter registration and anti-Klan projects in rural Southern Virginia and Tennessee. He was also active against the war in Vietnam.

    Scott has been a life long trade unionist and was active in rank and file reform movements in the Teamsters, Machinists and Steelworkers unions in the 1970s and '80s. He was co-chair of the Save Our Jobs committee of USWA local 1834 at Pullman Standard in Chicago and active in nationwide organizing against plant shutdowns and layoffs. He was a founder of the unemployed organization Jobs or Income Now (Join), in Chicago, and the National Congress of Unemployed Organizations in the 1980s.

    Scott has worked for the Communist Party since 1987 when he became the district organizer for the party in Illinois, a post he held until he was elected chair of the National Labor Commission in 1997. Scott remains active in SOAR (Steelworkers Active Organized Retirees). He lives in Chicago.

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