A Gallup poll taken on Monday reveals that unemployment is the number one issue in the minds of many Americans.
The latest numbers show an uptick in that opinion, as 23 percent cited the issue as the top challenge facing the United States today – an increase of 7 percent over January’s figure. The issue superseded popular dissatisfaction with politicians and government, which has persistently remained as the top issue since the government shutdown last October. Before then, jobs and the economy was cited as Americans’ principal concern.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that only 63 percent of working-age Americans are currently employed or are actively searching for a job – the lowest such figure since 1978. Furthermore, reports of decreasing unemployment rates are not necessarily positive indicators of job growth, as January’s drop was largely due to the long-term unemployed giving up on looking for work.
According to Mark Gongloff, an economic analyst with the Huffington Post, the persistence of high jobless rates is a symptom of what is still a weak economy incapable of creating sufficient job growth – a reality that is most clearly seen by the fact that most young people are either leaving the work force or not entering it at all, given the lack of jobs in the market.
Alberto González is the Associate Editor of Aleteia’s English edition. His prior endeavors have included working in political campaigns and in the United States Senate. He also maintains an active schedule as a liturgical vocalist and organist.
A native of California, Alberto graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2010 with a B.A. in Music and Political Science. He currently lives in the greater Washington, D.C. area.