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A Year of Job Losses Show U.S. Productive Economy Collapsing

Jan. 4, 2008 (EIRNS)—Depression reality is showing through the massaged and unreliable economic statistics released by the Federal government. Even the Consumer Price Index, though so "adjusted" as to be downright fraudulent, is reporting 9.6% annual inflation—as is the Producer Price Index. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) job figures, released today, give an echo of the speeding collapse of what remains of the U.S. productive economy, especially the vital auto/machine-tool sector of it. The "real economy" is being hit hard by the ongoing financial crash and banking crisis; it needs to be protected by a "firewall," starting with Lyndon LaRouche's Homeowners and Bank Protection Act.

According to the BLS, over the year December 2006-December 2007, the loss in goods-producing jobs in America was 445,000, accelerating a seven-year loss that now reaches 2.6 million productive jobs. The 2007 fall included 220,000 jobs lost in construction (-49,000 is the preliminary figure for the month of December 2007, the biggest monthly loss yet). Then, 212,000 jobs were lost in manufacturing (-31,000 in the month of December 2007), meaning that during the Cheney-Bush term, 3.33 million American manufacturing jobs have been lost, 20% of the United States' total when they took office.

And within the manufacturing sector, 2007 saw 75,000 jobs lost in the auto industry, the primary remaining machine-tool capability that makes the United States still an advanced economy with a capacity for modern industry. Some 350,000 auto/machine-tool jobs have been lost in seven years of Cheney-Bush, and 2007 was the worst year. This is the fatal machine-tool capacity collapse, that Lyndon LaRouche told Congress how to stop three years ago, when he proposed what became the Economic Recovery Act. But the Congress, including Democrats from states being whacked by the auto-industry crisis, has not lifted a finger to reverse it.

During 2007, according to the BLS, the number of unemployed Americans increased by 900,000 to 7.7 million, and the number forced to work only part-time, increased by an additional 456,000 to 4.7 million. Add discouraged workers who dropped out of the labor force during the year, and real unemployment is 13 million, nearly 10% of the non-farm workforce. The fraction of the total American population which is employed, fell 0.7% over the year, to 62.7%, about 3% below the levels of early 1980s.