The Stanford Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality has collected 20 facts about inequality in the United States that “everyone should know.”
The fourteenth one, illustrated above, refers to the growing number of discouraged workers (measured as unemployed and marginally attached workers in first quarter of 2009, as a share of the civilian population):
The number of discouraged workers (i.e., persons who are not currently looking for work because they believe that there are no jobs available for them) increased sharply during the current recession, rising to 717,000 in the first quarter of 2009, a 70-percent increase from the first quarter of 2008. Relative to their share of the labor force, young people, blacks, and, to a lesser extent, Hispanics and men were overrepresented among discouraged workers.
Discouraged workers form part of the Reserve Army of the Unemployed, which serves to keep employed workers feeling desperate to keep their jobs, no matter how stagnant their wages are and how much more they are forced to pay for the “benefits” they receive.
There but for the profit-making incentive of my capitalist employer go I. . .