Today’s jobs report is dismal: the only reason the official unemployment rate fell slightly (to 8.1 percent) was because 368 thousand workers dropped out of the labor force. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for young people (16 to 19 years of age) rose to 24.6 percent.
It’s all the more remarkable then that, as Justin Wolfers tweeted, the unemployed were politically invisible in the two political conventions. In the Republican convention, the unemployed were merely props for attacks on Obama’s economic policy and for demanding more tax breaks for the wealthy and fewer regulations for corporations. As for Democrats, the unemployed were barely even mentioned.
In effect, mainstream political discourse in the United States has disappeared tens of millions of unemployed Americans.