Friday, July 3, 2015

Black Youth "Not Seasonally Adjusted" Jobless Rate Increases To 38.5 Percent In June 2015

Between May and June 2015, the official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for Black youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the United States increased from 29.6 to 38.5 percent; while the number of unemployed Black youths increased by 112,000 (from 212,000 to 324,000) during the same period, according to the “not seasonally adjusted” Bureau of Labor Statistics data.  

The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for Latino youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the United States also increased from 17.3 to 24.4 percent between May and June 2015; while the number of unemployed Latino youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age increased by 129,000 (from 190,000 to 319,000) during the same period, according to the “not seasonally adjusted” data.

The official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for white youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age increased from 15.8 to 18.2 percent between May and June 2015; while the number of unemployed white youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the United States increased by 258,000 (from 714,000 to 972,000) during the same period, according to the “not seasonally adjusted” data..

The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for all youths (Black, Latino, white and Asian-American) between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the United States increased from 17.8 to 21.4 percent between May and June 2015; while the “not seasonally adjusted” total number of unemployed youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the United States increased by 421,000 (from 1,025,000 to 1,446,000) during the same period.

The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for Black male workers over 20 years-of-age in the United States was still 9.2 percent in June 2015; while the “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all Black workers in the United States (youth, male and female) was still 9.8 percent during that same month. In addition, between May and June 2015, the “not seasonally adjusted” number of Black male workers over 20 years-of-age in the labor force decreased by 57,000 (from 8,927,000 to 8,870,000); while the jobless rate for Black female workers over 20 years-of-age in the United States was still 7.9 percent in June 2015, according to the “not seasonally adjusted” data..

Between May and June 2015, the official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for Latino male workers over 20 years-of-age increased from 5.7 to 5.8 percent; while the official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for all Latino workers (youth, male and female) in the United States increased from 6.3 to 6.8 percent during the same period.. In addition, the official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for Latina female workers over 20 years-of-age was still 6 percent in June 2015; while the “not seasonally adjusted” total number of unemployed Latino workers (youth, male and female) increased by 131,000 (from 1,658,000 to 1,789,000) between May and June 2015.

The “not seasonally adjusted” number of unemployed Asian-American workers increased by 21,000 (from 353,000 to 374,000) between May and June 2015; while the unemployment rate for Asian-American workers increased from 3.9 to 4.1 percent during the same period, according to the “not seasonally adjusted” data. In addition, the “not seasonally adjusted” number of Asian-American workers who still had jobs decreased by 50,000 (from 8,804,000 to 8,754,000) between May and June 2015; while the number of Asian-American workers in the U.S. labor force decreased by 29,000 (from 9,157,000 to 9,128,000) during the same period, according to the “not seasonally adjusted” data.

The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for white female workers over 20 years-of-age in the United States increased from 4.2 to 4.4 percent between May and June 2015; while the official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for white male workers over 20 years-of-age was still 4 percent in June 2015. In addition, the “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all white workers (youth, male and female) increased from 4.5 to 4.8 percent between May and June 2015; while the “not seasonally adjusted” total number of unemployed white workers increased by 298,000 (from 5,630,000 to 5.928,000) during the same period.

The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for all female workers over 16 years-of-age in the United States increased from 5.2 to 5.5 percent between May and June 2015; while the official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all female workers over 20 years-of-age increased from 4.8 to 4.9 percent during the same period. In addition, the official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for all male workers over 16 years-of-age in the United States was still 5.4 percent in June 2015; while the official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all male workers over 20 years-of-age was still 4.6 percent during that same month.

Between May and June 2015, the official “not seasonally adjusted” total number of unemployed workers in the United States increased by 268,000 (from 8,370,000 to 8,638,000); while the official unemployment rate for all U.S. workers (male, female and youth) increased from 5.3  to 5.5 percent during the same period, according to the “not seasonally adjusted” data

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ July 2,, 2015 press release:

“….The civilian labor force declined by 432,000 in June….The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers), at 6.5 million, changed little in June. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job….

“In June, 1.9 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed from a year earlier…These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey…..Among the marginally attached, there were 653,000 discouraged workers in June, essentially unchanged from a year earlier….Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them…

“Employment in mining continued to trend down in June (-4,000)….Since…December 2014, employment in mining has declined by 71,000, with losses concentrated in support activities for mining.


“Employment in…construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, information, and government, showed little or no change over the month…The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for April was revised from +221,000 to +187,000, and the change for May was revised from +280,000 to +254,000. With these revisions, employment gains in April and May combined were 60,000 lower than previously reported…”. 

Lawrence, Massachusetts "Not Seasonally Adjusted" Jobless Rate Increases To 8.5 Percent In May 2015


Between April and May 2015, the official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate in Lawrence, Massachusetts increased from 8.1 to 8.5 percent; while Massachusetts’ “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate increased from 4.1 to 4.4 percent during the same period, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

The official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate in 6 other major Massachusetts cities and in the town of North Adams was still higher than the “not seasonally adjusted” national U.S. unemployment rate of 5.3 percent in May 2015:

1. The official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate in Springfield, Massachusetts increased from 7.6 to 8.2 percent between April and May 2015;

2. The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate in New Bedford, Massachusetts increased from 7.4 to 7.5 percent between April and May 2015;

3. The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate in Fall River, Massachusetts was still 7.4 percent in May 2015;

4. The official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate in North Adams, Massachusetts increased from 6.6 to 6.8 percent between April and May 2015;

5. The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate in Brockton, Massachusetts increased from 5.6 to 6 percent between April and May 2015;

6. The official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate in Lowell, Massachusetts increased from 5.4 to 5.7 percent between April and May 2015; and.

The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate in Worcester, Massachusetts increased from 5 to 5.4 percent between April and May 2015; while the official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate in Pittsfield, Massachusetts was still 5.2 percent in May 2015. In addition, between April and May 2015, the official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate in Lynn, Massachusetts increased from 4.6 to 5 percent; while the official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate in Boston, Massachusetts increased from 3.7 to 4.1 percent during the same period.

According to the Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development’s June 23, 2015 press release:

“Seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates for May…in…labor markets in the state…rose in sixteen…The statewide unadjusted unemployment rate for May was 4.4 percent, up 0.3 of a percentage point from the April 2015 rate….”


Between April and May 2015, the “not seasonally adjusted” number of unemployed workers in Massachusetts increased from 148,600 to 157,900; and around 44,000 of these officially unemployed workers lived in Boston, Brockton, Fall River, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, New Bedford, Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester or North Adams, according to the “not seasonally adjusted” data. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Lawrence, Massachusetts "Not Seasonally Adjusted" Jobless Rate Still 8.1 Percent In April 2015


In April 2015, the official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate in Lawrence, Massachusetts was still 8.1 percent; while Massachusetts’ “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate was still 4.4 percent during that same month, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

The official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate in 4 other major Massachusetts cities and in the town of North Adams was still higher than the “not seasonally adjusted” national U.S. unemployment rate of 5.4 percent in April 2015:

1. The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate in Fall River, Massachusetts was still 7.8 percent in April 2015;

2. The official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate in Springfield, Massachusetts was still 7.6 percent in April 2015;

3. The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate in New Bedford, Massachusetts was still 7.4 percent in April 2015;

4. The official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate in North Adams, Massachusetts was still 6.6 percent in April 2015; and

5. The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate in Brockton, Massachusetts was still 5.6 percent in April 2015.

In addition, the official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate in Lowell, Massachusetts was still 5.4 percent in April 2015; while the official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate in Boston, Massachusetts was still 3.7 percent during that same month.

According to the Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development’s June 18, 2015 press release:

“Over the month [of May 2015]….transportation and warehousing lost 500 jobs…Information lost 200 (-0.2%) jobs over the month…Professional, Scientific and Business Services lost 400 (-0.1%) jobs over the month….The May estimates show….168,700 were unemployed…..”


In April 2015, the “not seasonally adjusted” number of unemployed workers in Massachusetts was still 157,900; and around 42,000 of these officially unemployed workers lived in Boston, Brockton, Fall River, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, New Bedford,, Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester or North Adams, according to the “not seasonally adjusted” data. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Australian Anti-War Activist Joan Coxsedge's May 24, 2015 Letter

(The following letter from Australian anti-war and Latin American solidarity activist Joan Coxsedge—who is also a former member of the Victoria state parliament--originally appeared in an Australian-Cuban solidarity group’s newsletter)

May 24, 2015,

Dear Comrades,

Were almost halfway through the year. Unbelievable.  Someone must be fiddling with the clocks. Why not, theyre fiddling with everything else, especially our minds.  Weve got the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, The War on Unions and the War on People, the ordinary people, the battlers and anyone vaguely to the left of Ivan the Terrible, trying to keep everyone on edge, so everyones a little afraid of exactly what isnt clear, but always needing more draconian laws for protection.Im far more afraid of the bastards telling us we should be afraid, the gutless wonders who preen and ponce and then run for cover when confronted with their real bosses.

And what a nasty, miserable budget concocted by this bunch of corrupt, brain-dead morons, stealing money (our money) from a huge range of small community groups, to give to the chosen. Brandis wants his own little Arts fiefdom, decimating the Australia Arts Council, claiming its only losing 15% of budget funding when 50% is closer to the mark

But where is the public outrage to this appalling government?  Why arent Australians jumping up and down about the more than $9bn the government is shelling out for three dud US missile destroyers when it could have bought nine from Spain that have already been built for $3bn, saving $6bn?  In any case, the money should be spent on health and education.

“‘Misspoken said Abbott after US Sec. of Defence David Shear let the cat out of the bag when he said B-1 bombers would move to Australia, meaning they will be based here. Team Australia.  What a laugh.  Powerful vested interests manifest themselves in many ways, one is through lobbying, full-on, insidious well-funded lobbying by outfits like the Minerals Council of Australia. More than a 1000 lobbyists, part-time and full-time but all very secretive, infest the halls of Canberra challenging government policy and subverting democracy, while the public service is being seriously downgraded and ultra-right think tanks like the Institute of Public Affairs get tax breaks, getting the bulk of its funding from god knows where. 

Obama, the first black US president, is shaping up to be one of the most devious presidents in modern times and thats really saying something when you look at his predecessors. A recent Obama quote: We have to make sure America writes the rules of the global economy and we should do it today while our economy is in a position of global strength. If we dont write the rules for trade around the world, guess what, China will. And theyll write the rules in a way that gives Chinese businesses the upper hand.  It explains why Obama is forcefully pressing the case for the toxic, authoritarian Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), his final gift to the global elite, a corporate giveaway, which if you look at the details will take us one more step on the road to Armageddon.

As Ive said so often, the TPP will reduce wages, deepen inequality, undermine sovereignty and further damage our already damaged environment. Even leading corporate Democrats like the Clintons who championed TPPs forerunner NAFTA, are keeping their distance on this one, but sadly there are enough Democrats combining with a unanimous Republican bloc to pass the TPP legislation.

Another Obama legacy is his version of health insurance, a scheme much loved by giant pharmaceutical companies and big insurance, a bill that was drafted by the Republican Heritage Foundation, replacing the popular alternative Medicare for All.

And then theres his current push for the huge climate-destroying oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell oil to start drilling for fossil fuels in the beautiful pristine Arctic Ocean, a critical habitat for rare species. A dismal end to a dismal presidency.

A few weeks ago, Russia celebrated the Allied victory over Nazism without the presence of Obama or other western leaders, demeaning the extraordinary sacrifice of the Russian people made seven decades ago.  A boycott that is part of a clumsy attempt to belittle Russia and to present an anti-Putin, anti-Russian alternative version. If it wasnt for the Red Armys victories against the German invaders, particularly the crucial Battle for Stalingrad in 1943-1944, the prospects for victory would have been almost impossible.

But good things are happening in Argentina. Last August workers arrived at their factory and found a note at the gate telling them the company had closed down and was moving abroad to take advantage of a cheaper and more docile workforce. The workers moved swiftly, gave the factory a new name, finished a job worth $500,000 and enrolled in the national registry of cooperatives, joining many others doing similar things, while the women opened a daycare centre in the factory to look after the children. When the police tried to evict the workers, popular support from the community - public hospital staff stated they would not provide medical treatment if police were injured in the standoff - forced the cops to pull their heads in.  Nationalisation under workers control.  Something worth fighting for.

Viva socialism!


Joan Coxsedge

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Black Youth `Seasonally Adjusted' Unemployment Rate Increases To 30.1 Percent In May 2015

Between April and May 2015, the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for Black youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the United States increased from 27.5 to 30.1 percent; while the number of unemployed Black youths increased by 28,000 (from 187,000 to 215,000) during the same period, according to the “seasonally adjusted” Bureau of Labor Statistics data.  

The official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for Latino youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the United States also increased from 18.9 to 19.2 percent between April and May 2015; while the number of Latino youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the U.S. labor force decreased by 24,000 (from 1,157,000 to 1,133,000 ) during the same period, according to the “seasonally adjusted” data. In addition, the “seasonally adjusted” number of Latino youths who still had jobs decreased by 22,000 (from 938,000 to 916,000) between April and May 2015.

The official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for white youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age increased from 14.5 to 15.5 percent between April and May 2015; while the number of unemployed white youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the United States increased by 54,000 (from 660,000 to 714,000) during the same period, according to the “seasonally adjusted” data..

The official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for all youths (Black, Latino, white and Asian-American) between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the United States increased from 17.1 to 17.9 percent between April and May 2015; while the “seasonally adjusted” total number of unemployed youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the United States increased by 53,000 (from 986,000 to 1,039,000) during the same period.

The official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for Black male workers over 20 years-of-age in the United States also increased from 9.2 to 10.2 percent between April and May 2015; while the “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all Black workers in the United States (youth, male and female) increased from 9.6 to 10.2 percent during the same period. In addition, between April and May 2015 the total “seasonally adjusted” official number of unemployed Black workers in the United States increased by 120,000 (from 1,868,000 to 1,988,000); while the jobless rate for Black female workers over 20 years-of-age in the United States was still 8.8 percent in May 2015, according to the “seasonally adjusted” data..

In May 2015, the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for Latino male workers over 20 years-of-age was still 6 percent; while the official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for all Latino workers (youth, male and female) in the United States was still 6.7 percent during the same month. In addition, the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for Latina female workers over 20 years-of-age was still 6.5 percent in May 2015; while the “seasonally adjusted” number of unemployed Latino workers not in the U.S. labor force increased by 97,000 (from 13,237,000 to 13,334,000) between April and May 2015. And in May 2015, the “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for Asian-American workers was still 4.1 percent.

The official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for white female workers over 20 years-of-age in the United States increased from 4.2 to 4.3 percent between April and May 2015; while the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for white male workers over 20 years-of-age was still 4.2 percent in May 2015. In addition, the “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all white workers (youth, male and female) was still 4.7 percent in May 2015; while the “seasonally adjusted” total number of unemployed white workers increased by 36,000 (from 5,791,000 to 5,827,000) between April and May 2015.

The official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for all female workers over 16 years-of-age in the United States was still 5.4 percent in May 2015; while the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all female workers over 20 years-of-age increased from 4.9 to 5 percent between April and May 2015. In addition, the official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for all male workers over 16 years-of-age in the United States increased from 5.5 to 5.6 percent during the same period; while the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all male workers over 20 years-of-age was still 5 percent in May 2015.

Between April and May 2015, the official “seasonally adjusted” total number of unemployed workers in the United States increased by 125,000 (from 8,549,,000 to 8,674,000); while the official unemployment rate for all U.S. workers (male, female and youth) increased from 5.4  to 5.5 percent during the same period, according to the “seasonally adjusted” data

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ June 5, 2015 press release:

“….The unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 5.5 percent….Mining employment continued to decline...The number of unemployed new entrants edged up by 103,000 in May….Unemployed new entrants are those who never previously worked…..The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) held at 2.5 million in May and accounted for 28.6 percent of the unemployed….

"The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was about unchanged at 6.7 million in May and has shown little movement in recent months. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part-time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

In May, 1.9 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force….These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey….Among the marginally attached there were 563,000 discouraged workers in May...Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them....

“Employment in mining fell for the fifth month in a row, with a decline of 17,000 in May. The loss was in support activities for mining. Employment in mining has decreased by 68,000 thus far this year...Employment in other major industries, including manufacturing, wholesale trade, information, and government showed little change over the month....The change in total nonfarm payroll employment...for April was revised from +223,000 to +221,000..."

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Black Youth `Seasonally Adjusted' Unemployment Rate Increases To 27.5 Percent In April 2015

Between March and April 2015, the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for Black youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the United States increased from 25 to 27.5 percent; while the number of unemployed Black youths increased by 26,000 (from 161,000 to 187,000) during the same period, according to recently released “seasonally adjusted” Bureau of Labor Statistics data. 
The official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for Latino youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the United States was still 18.9 percent in April 2015; while the number of Latino youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the U.S. labor force decreased by 30,000 (from 1,187,000 to 1,157,000) between March and April 2015, according to the “seasonally adjusted” data..

The official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for white youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age was still 14.5 percent in April 2015; while the number of white youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the U.S. labor force decreased by 36,000 (from 4,584,000 to 4,548,000) between March and April 2015, according to the “seasonally adjusted” data..

The official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for all youths (Black, Latino, white and Asian-American) between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the United States was still 17.1 percent in April 2015; while the “seasonally adjusted” total number of youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the United States who still had jobs decreased by 20,000 (from 4,804,000 to 4,784,000) between March and April 2015. In addition, the “seasonally adjusted” total number of youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the U.S. labor force decreased by 55,000 (from 5,824,000 to 5,769,000) between March and April 2015; while the “seasonally adjusted” number of youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age not in the U.S. labor force increased by 49,000 (10,800,000 to 10,849,000) during the same period.

The official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for Black male workers over 20 years-of-age in the United States was still 9.2 percent in April 2015; while the “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all Black workers in the United States (youth, male and female) was also still 9.6 percent during that same month. In addition, in April 2015, the official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for Black female workers over 20 years-of-age in the United States was still 8.8 percent.

Between March and April 2015, the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for Latino male workers over 20 years-of-age increased from 5.8 to 6 percent; while the official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for all Latino workers (youth, male and female) in the United States increased from 6.9 to 6.9 percent during that same period. In addition, the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for Latina female workers over 20 years-of-age increased from 6.5 to 6.9 percent between March and April 2015; while the “seasonally adjusted” number of unemployed Latina female workers over 20 years-of-age increased by 45,000 (from 680,000 to 725,000) during the same period.

Between March and April 2015, the “seasonally adjusted” number of unemployed Asian-American workers in the United States increased by 106,000 (from 288,000 to 394,000);.while the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for Asian-American workers in the United States increased from 3.2 to 4.4 percent during the same period..
 
The official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for white female workers over 20 years-of-age in the United States was still 4.2 percent in April 2015; while the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for white male workers over 20 years-of-age was still 4.4 percent during that same month. In addition, the “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all white workers (youth, male and female) was still 4.7 percent in April 2015; while the “seasonally adjusted” total number of white workers who still had jobs decreased by 167,000 (from 117, 886,000 to 117,719,000) between March and April 2015. During the same period, the “seasonally adjusted” number of white workers in the U.S. labor force also decreased by 229,000 (from 123,739,000 to 123,510,00) and the “seasonally adjusted” number of white workers not in the U.S. labor force increased by 321,000 (from 72,743,000 to 73,064,000).

The official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for all female workers over 16 years-of-age in the United States increased from 5.3 to 5.4 percent between March and April 2015; while the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all female workers over 20 years-of-age was still 4.9 percent in April 2015. In addition, the official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for all male workers over 16 years-of-age in the United States was still 5.5 percent in April 2015; while the official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all male workers over 20 years-of-age was still 5 percent during that same month.

In April 2015, the official “seasonally adjusted” total number of unemployed workers in the United States was still 8,549,000; while the official unemployment rate for all U.S. workers (male, female and youth) was still 5.4 percent during that same month, according to the “seasonally adjusted” data

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 8, 2015 press release:

“…The unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 5.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today...Mining employment continued to decline...In April, both the unemployment rate (5.4 Percent) and the number of unemployed persons (8.5 million) were essentially unchanged....

“Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Asians increased to 4.4 percent. The rates for adult men (5.0 percent), adult women (4.9 percent), teenagers (17.1 percent), whites 4.7 percent), blacks (9.6 percent), and Hispanics (6.9 percent) showed little or no change in April....

“…The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) changed little at 2.5 million, accounting for 29.0 percent of the unemployed….

“The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed at 6.6 million in April....These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

“In April, 2.1 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed over the year…These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey…

“Among the marginally attached, there were 756,000 discouraged workers in April, little different from a year earlier....Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them....

“….Employment declined over the month in nonresidential building construction (-8,000)….Employment in mining fell by 15,000 in April, with most of the job losses in support activities for mining (-10,000) and in oil and gas extraction (-3,000). Since the beginning of the year, employment in mining has declined by 49,000, with losses concentrated in support activities for mining.

“Employment in....manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government showed little change over the month…


“The change in total nonfarm payroll employment….for March was revised from +126,000 to +85,000. With these revisions, employment gains in February and March combined were 39,000 lower than previously reported….”

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Australian Anti-War Activist Joan Coxsedge's April 26, 2015 Letter


(The following letter from Australian anti-war and Latin American solidarity activist Joan Coxsedge—who is also a former member of the Victoria state parliament--originally appeared in an Australian-Cuban solidarity group’s newsletter)

"April 26, 2015

"Dear Comrades,

"Anzac Day has come and gone.  Thank god.  When I was a kid, it was a day of reflection and sadness, a quiet day to remember the terrible devastation and loss of our young, not only in Gallipoli but during the four appalling years of war when every second family suffered a bereavement and two in every three Australians in uniform were ether killed or wounded, some so terribly they were kept out of sight. And at wars end, the great army of damaged silent men returned home.

"No jingoism, no glorification, just deep private grief with no bodies or gravestones. In their place, memorials sprung up throughout the land with a digger on top sporting a slouched hat. On the sides, the names of the dead carved in stone. Not a noble war fought for noble motives but a war between empires for control of trade.

"But in this 100th anniversary year, Gallipoli has become an event, the place to be along with the nonsensical when we came of age, and weve been swamped with hard-sell commercialised pro-war drivel that plumbed new depths with Camp Gallipoli where deluded idiots shelled out their hard-earned to camp under the stars for an authentic Gallipoli experience minus the stench of the dead, the mud, the shellfire, the fear, the madness and rancid food. 

"PM Abbott babbled on about magnificent defeat and terrible victory after trying to cut back the wages of serving soldiers and reducing their pensions. Did he know that the bombs raining down on the Anzacs while trapped on the beach were sold to the Turks by the British company Woolwich Arsenal? Imagine their fury. And their anger at the wholesale corruption that infests our society, the growing gap between rich and poor, the terror raids with police bashing down doors and the disgraceful attack on trade unions by a hand-picked anti-worker royal commission.

"And what about the almost-signed Trans-Pacific Partnership, a secretive agreement being rammed through without any public debate.  Partnership?  My foot. The TPPs been cooked up by giant corporations with no democratic input.

"In November 2013, Julian Assange released a 95-page draft text of the proposed chapter on Intellectual Property Rights that laid out the provisions to institute a far-reaching transnational legal and enforcement regime with implications for individual rights, civil liberties, publishing, internet service providers and internet privacy as well as for anything creative, intellectual and environmental. Litigation tribunals to which sovereign national courts are expected to defer will have no human rights safeguards.

"As Julian Assange says: If instituted, the TPPs regime would trample over individual rights and free expressionIf you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if youre ill now or might be one day, the TPP has you in its crosshairs.

"But the rich will do very nicely thank you.  I keep raising the TPP because once its signed, thats it.  And when you look at the Federal Liberal goose in charge of negotiating with the Yankees, Andrew Robb (great opportunities for business), you know were going to be done like a dinner.

John Pilger reminds us of the war weve continued to wage against our own indigenous people, one we dont care to talk about. Abbott slashed $534 million from indigenous social programmes, with$160 million from health and $13.4 million from their legal aid budgets. To our shame, the number of Aboriginal people hospitalised for self-harm has increased, especially among the young, but Abbott then had the gall to attack a long standing commitment to homelands as a lifestyle choice.   As bad as apartheid South Africa?

"In the last few days, a number of US media outlets have reported that the US State Department is claiming that the Cuban and US governments are discussing the potential removal of Cuba from its list of State Sponsors of Terrorism with the suggestion that an issue under review is the return of various US revolutionaries and radicals currently living in exile in Cuba. One is Assata Shakur who was given political asylum in Cuba in 1984 after escaping from a New Jersey prison five years earlier. 

"Assata had been convicted of murder in 1977 over the death of Trooper Foerster despite the absence of fingerprints on any weapon or powder residue on her hands. She was shot twice while her arms were raised, paralysing her right arm, making it impossible for her to fire a gun, and was then shot again from the back. Taken to hospital, she was threatened, beaten and tortured and later convicted in a trial she described as a legal lynching.

"In 1979, a delegation from the UN Commission on Human Rights visited Assata in prison and reported that political activists like her had been selectively targeted for provocation, false arrests, entrapment, fabrication of evidence and false criminal prosecutions.   A reminder of Washingtons appalling treatment of the Cuban Five. 

"We live in demented times but no amount of money or trade could justify sending good comrades back to the hell of US prisons.  Anyone negotiating with Washington crooks needs a long spoon and permanent amnesia. The US breaks treaties with impunity, from old ones with Native Americans to recent ones with Ukraine to confine the eastward expansion of NATO, even to reparation promised to Vietnam but never paid.

"Cuba knows Americas track record better than most. Hated by Washington since its successful Revolution, but respected and admired by millions around the world who believe that fighting US imperialism is a just and worthy cause. Freedom is non-negotiable.  Viva Cuba!

"Joan Coxsedge"