Last night, Scott Pelley filed a devastating report entitled “99 Weeks: When Unemployment Benefits Run Out” that focused on educated, professional employees who have been without work for nearly two years and cannot find a job of any kind. Pelley concentrated his story on people living in California’s Silicon Valley, an area in which he expected to find growth, but instead found economic stagnation, fear, and desperation:
Jim Wild has been applying for jobs two years. “I’ve gone through the tier one companies. I’ve gone through the tier two companies and now I’m down to Target. I just got a job offer from Target to work a part-time job at 9.50 or 9.25 an hour,” he explained.
The Target job is floor sales; previously, Wild was a fiber optics engineering manager.
He’s taking the job at Target and he’s glad to get it.
These folks aren’t that unusual: today, nearly 20 percent of the unemployed in America have college degrees.
Silicon Valley lost its jobs in construction, manufacturing and in high-tech engineering that went overseas. San Jose looks the same, but it shrank by 75,000 jobs. Many buildings there stand empty.
The national unemployment rate of about nine and a half percent sounds incredibly high and of course it is. But it doesn’t nearly capture the depth of the trouble. It doesn’t count the people who’ve seen their hours cut to part time. It doesn’t count the people who have quit looking for work.
If you add all of that together, the unemployed and the underemployed, it’s not nine and a half percent, it’s 17 percent; and in California it’s 22 percent.
And what makes it so much worse is that, nationwide, one third of the unemployed have been out of work more than a year. That hasn’t happened since the Depression.
Here’s the video:
Incredible. CBS News is plainly admitting that we are in the worst economic situation regarding employment since the Great Depression. This is truly remarkable, considering it is 1) coming from CBS News, and 2) broadcast roughly one week before the November midterm elections.
Make sure you read or watch the whole report at the “60 Minutes” website.