February 23, 2010
Nearly 20 percent of U.S. workers underemployed
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nearly 20 percent of the U.S. workforce lacked adequate employment in January and struggled to make ends meet with reduced resources and bleak job prospects, according to a Gallup poll released on Tuesday.
In findings that appear to paint a darker employment picture than official U.S. data, Gallup estimated that about 30 million Americans are underemployed, meaning either jobless or able to find only part-time work.
Underemployed people spent 36 percent less on household purchases than their fully employed neighbors in January, while six out of 10 were not hopeful about their chances of finding adequate work in the coming month, the poll said.
Unemployed workforce: diminution of taxable income, diminution of social security contributions, diminution of sales taxes; expansion of demand on food stamps, school lunch programs, medicaid, other available social services.
Will there be further expansions in cooperative food purchasing and preparation? Local resource and knowledge sharing? Reclamations of abandoned buildings?
Do our suburbs and exurbs hinder these opportunities to benefit from cooperation? Do they encourage screen-based rather than face to face interactions? Will people abandon the suburbs for better modes of urban life (there was an interesting story in the NYT on Sunday about a couple that left retirement in Florida to return to Detroit where they became active in initiatives around resurgence).
And when and how do frustration and anger organize into opposition, opposition that cannot be displaced or ignored, opposition that changes the very contours of the possible?