Friday, August 01, 2008

Unemployment Rates Increase

The US unemployment rate hit 5.7% in July, the highest it has been in over four years. With the economic situation worsening, the nation is still vulnerable to a recession.

While companies have cut workers for the seventh month in a row, the rate is still better than man analysts had expected.
Although US productivity is holding strong, indicating the inflation could possibly come down once energy and commodity prices stabilize, and some sectors are steady, the US labor market looks bleak.

As the presidential candidates duel it out in Florida today, they both agree that wages have deteriorated and recognize the unemployment situation. But while one focuses on middle-class aid, the other looks to tax cuts.

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama plans to announce today an economic plan that would introduce a windfall profits tax on oil companies to pay for rebate checks to families and individuals to help with the increasing energy costs. He also supports a stimulus package, including funds for developing infrastructure, which could save over a million jobs.

Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain's focus lies on cutting taxes, such as the federal gas tax and the corporate tax. McCain's Jobs for American Plan keeps taxes low " create good jobs here in America, and give American workers renewed confidence in their economic future." He also supports lifting taxes and other government-imposed burdens from small businesses, working to make American more competitive so as to create more jobs.

The issue of unemployment often comes on the heels of the nationwide immigration debate.

While many claim that the immigrant community - often specifically blaming undocumented immigrants - take US jobs, the relationship between the immigration and unemployment is much more complicated and affected by many more variables. Others are concerned about restrictive immigration laws that hinder the nation's ability to maintain professionals from abroad and compete internationally. With unemployment on the rise, budget gaps are expected to only further deepen in cities like New York.

Unemployment in Chicago is hard-hitting close to home, with
some sources reporting a rate of over 7%. Hopefully the next President will be able to address the issue of unemployment and turn our economic frown upside down.

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