A Jobless Labor Day

For 14 million unemployed Americans and their families, this Labor Day will not be a happy one. Instead of enjoying a day off of work, they’re suffering a disturbing trend under the Obama economy: Jobs are not being created, the unemployment rate has not improved, and the economy is at a near standstill. Even worse, the labor market’s stall might be turning into a decline.

And today, in Detroit—which in July had the highest unemployment rate of any metropolitan area in the country—President Obama is due to stand with labor presidents including the AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka, Teamsters’ James P. Hoffa, and the UAW’s Bob King to tout his bailout of the auto industry and his yet-to-be-disclosed plan to turn the economy around.

The Big Labor backdrop is ironic but not surprising. The union movement has helped lead to the staggering loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States, and the demands it has made on employers and governments help create the very conditions leading to the tragic unemployment in Detroit and across the country. But they are strong political allies of the President—having spent $1.1 billion on politics and lobbying in the last election cycle—and they continue to hold a prominent seat at the table.



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