What a lot of people still don’t realize is that during the past 40 years, the US has gradually moved toward a “Third World” (traditional) model of political economy with traditional levels of disparities between social classes. The period between the 1950s and the 1980s was a historical anomaly where, due to a combination of economic, political, geopolitical, legal, institutional, and technological factors, the working class could live like an upper middle class. That has slowly faded during the era of neoliberalism, globalization, the digital capitalist revolution, the tech revolution, and many other related and interconnected factors. The future of the US economy will be more like Latin America. And, yes, I realize that “even poor people have cell phones and internet service.” And so do many poor people in places like Colombia, Nigeria, or the Philippines.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added just 194,000 jobs in September, a second straight tepid gain and evidence that the pandemic still has a grip on the economy with many companies struggling to fill millions of open jobs.
Friday’s report from the Labor Department also showed that the unemployment rate fell sharply to 4.8% from 5.2% in August.
The economy is showing some signs of emerging from the drag of the delta variant of the coronavirus, with confirmed new COVID-19 infections declining, restaurant traffic picking up slightly and consumers eager to spend.
But new infections remained high as September began, and employers are still struggling to find workers because many people who lost jobs in the pandemic have yet to start looking again. Supply chain bottlenecks have also worsened, slowing factories, restraining homebuilders and emptying some store shelves.
Many economists still think that most of the roughly 3 million people who lost jobs and stopped looking for work since the pandemic struck will resume their searches as COVID wanes. It took years after the 2008-2009 recession, they note, for the proportion of people working or seeking work to return to pre-recession levels. The government doesn’t count people as unemployed unless they’re actively looking for jobs.