July 12, 2011
By Stephanie West
Only a net of 18,000 jobs were created in June, while the unemployment rate inched up to 9.2 percent from 9.1 percent in May. The depressing data signaled that the economic recovery might be in serious trouble. There were layoffs at all levels of government. Hiring by companies continued to be sluggish, with many firms using temporary help or investing in equipment.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama and John Boehner, speaker of he House of Representatives, were meeting in private to decide the mix of spending cuts and tax increases for a $4 trillion deal to cut the federal deficit. Sharp spending cuts may be in the offing for Medicare and Medicaid; Social Security may not be immune from changes, as well as programs that serve the poor and elderly.
There are 14.1 million people who are officially listed as unemployed. Altogether, there are some 25 million people who are looking for full-time jobs and can’t find them. In addition, jobs must be found for 125,000 new entrants into the labor force each month. Everyone agrees that the lack of jobs for millions of people is a top priority problem, but neither Congress nor the White House has come up with job creating solutions.