Friday, September 10, 2021

[NJFAC] National Jobs for All Newsletter - Issue 8

News and Updates from the National Jobs for All Network (NFJAN), July, August, September, 2021
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National Jobs for All Network
- Newsletter Issue 8 - 
July, August, September 2021

P.O. Box 96, Lynbrook, NY 11563 · · 
In this issue:
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Benefits of Millions of Unemployed Scheduled to Expire Sept. 6

An estimated 7.5 million people will lose their extra $300 weekly Covid-19 unemployment benefit on Sept. 6—unless the federal government decides at the last moment to extend their coverage.
The expiration follows the decision of 26 states to end the federally-funded unemployment weekly benefit of millions of other workers, in some states, months before the September cutoff.
"We are still struggling with a pandemic-induced downturn," said Trudy Goldberg, the National Jobs for All Network chair. "Millions of people continue to be out of work. We believe it is both premature and cruel for states to end this vital, extra COVID-19 benefit."
All but two of the 26 states that denied the benefits are led by Republican governors, who said they were carrying out the cuts to spur hiring. But so far, there is little evidence that the cuts are having that impact.

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Green Jobs for All:
Coping with Two Crises

Activists March for Green Jobs For All at Climate MarchBy TRUDY GOLDBERG
Addressing the jobs and environmental crises are two parts of a common struggle to create an equitable and sustainable economy. A federal jobs guarantee copes with both. 

The Environmental Crisis
Devastating environmental changes—largely resulting from the burning of fossil fuels—occur everywhere on earth.
Water grows scarcer in dry regions; torrential rains increase in wet regions; heat waves are more common and severe; hurricanes are more frequent and more deadly; wildfires worsen; forests are dying, and melting ice caps portend coastal flooding, threatening human habitation. Communities of color are hit harder by climate change. Hotter climates reduce food supplies, causing hunger and social conflict, particularly in poorer countries. The warming earth is already threatening millions worldwide. Scientists warn that without significant fossil fuel reduction, the earth will be unlivable.
The recently released report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is "a code-red for humanity." "Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide," according to one climate scientist. The IPCC report confirms that the climate crisis is here and is going to get worse.

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Raising Consciousness About
Employment Justice

A 2021 "Good Jobs for All" Virtual Town Hall
In a profoundly unjust and unequal society, people with the fewest resources are taxed for their poverty—both in economic and social terms.
The notion that individual accountability determines one's lot in life obscures how an individual's social and economic position is often restricted while it is preserved for others who possess wealth and access. To combat conventional wisdom, we must reflect honestly on the past.
Challenging all Americans to question if decent jobs or basic health care are unreasonable demands in the world's wealthiest nation stands to shake the premises upon which capitalist bloat rests. The assumption that all Americans are entitled to rewarding work at livable wages could mean busting the myths upholding neoliberalism.
A Virtual "Jobs for All" Town Hall
On Sept. 29, from 6 to 8 p.m., the National Jobs for All Network (NJFAN) is hosting a virtual 'Good Jobs for All" Town Hall to raise consciousness about policy that will reframe gainful employment as a federally-guaranteed human right—rather than a privilege held for the lucky few.
In his keynote presentation, National Jobs for All Network veteran Phil Harvey will explain in accessible terms why New Deal-style federal job-creation programs are so much more effective at advancing social and economic justice than those focused on stimulating job creation in the private sector—and why we should care about knowing the difference. Supporting speakers plan to share their thoughts and experiences about the intersections of the federal job guarantee and a range of other causes, such as health care, the peace movement, and environmental, racial, and immigration justice; with several live music performances by Frank Panzarella (aka the "Labor Movement Troubadour") to add even more flavor to the night's itinerary. 

This town hall, which follows others in Memphis, Tenn., and Dayton, Ohio, is free to attend and open to all. Visit this link or email, and visit us on Twitter at #GoodJobs4All!

Sarianna Sabbarese is a student at the Southern Connecticut State University's graduate program, pursuing master's degrees in social work and women's and gender studies. She is a member of the NJFAN outreach committee and an organizer of the 2021 Good Jobs For All! Virtual Town Hall on Sept. 29.
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The Struggle for Peace and Freedom

"UBUNTU: George M. Houser and the Struggle for Peace and Freedom on Two Continents," by Sheila Collins, Ohio University Press, 2020.
The most important people in the world are often those who work quietly in the background of events, devoting their skill, commitment, and lives to the causes they believe in. They receive no acclaim, but without them, there would be no triumph. George Houser is such a man, and his service has been given whole-heartedly and without reserve to the cause of human freedom and human equality . . .
  – Julius K. Nyerere, first president of Tanzania
How does someone take an idea and an ideal and realize it without major government or foundation funding and without creating an institution that might smother the ideal? This is the story of one man who did that. George M. Houser, a white Methodist minister, was one of the most significant, if relatively little known, peace and anti-racist activists of the twentieth century. An early founder of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), he pioneered, as early as the 1940s, the civil disobedience campaigns that became a model for the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. He later founded the American Committee on Africa (ACOA), which became a major U.S. support base for ending the colonial era and organizing the anti-apartheid movements, initiating the iconic campaigns that helped prepare the ground for the toppling of the South African apartheid regime. Houser's organizing style provides many useful insights for those working today for racial, economic, and gender justice.
– Sheila D. Collins
"UBUNTU," tells a story of who and what propelled the uneven march to independence in Africa in the 1950s-1980s in a way that one better understands African and American choices made and not made and outcomes, which continue to shape current choices.
It describes the wrenching discussions of both George Houser and the American Committee on Africa (ACOA) with nationalist leaders, particularly in Southern African countries—discussions about whether to adopt non-violent direct action as a principal strategy and how violence would be a necessary tactic while fearing the longer-term legitimization of violence—again a consequence still with us.

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Issue and Debate
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Infrastructure Investment
vs. Job Guarantee

What is the difference between job guarantee and infrastructure investment? And to what extent would infrastructure investment and a J.G. program serve the aims of the other?

The goals of a job guarantee (J.G.) and the infrastructure spending legislation like the American Jobs Plan (AJP) proposed by the Biden Administration or the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R.) currently under debate in the U.S. Congress are different.

-> The purpose of J.G. legislation is to close the economy's job gap through direct job creation and to administer the job creation program to ensure all job seekers access to proper employment providing fair and adequate wages along with safe and healthful working conditions.

-> The purpose of infrastructure investment legislation is to develop and maintain society's physical and social infrastructure, usually by contracting with private business firms, to perform the work and often stimulate economic growth and create jobs.

Achieving Full Employment
J.G. legislation aims to achieve full employment. Securing everyone's "right to a useful and remunerative job" was the first entitlement in Franklin D. Roosevelt's agenda-setting Second (or Economic) Bill of Rights. Direct job creation is necessary to achieve this goal because market economies rarely create as many jobs as needed. Many economists no longer believe that this "job gap" can be closed by promoting economic growth.

Whether it is the result of market forces or a product of macroeconomic manipulation, the commonly accepted view is that economic growth will generate politically unacceptable and economically destabilizing increases in the rate of inflation long before it achieves full employment. In contrast, the direct job creation strategy can be configured to combat inflation while simultaneously creating enough jobs to provide useful and remunerative jobs for everyone who wants paid work.

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Jobs and Unemployment
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The July Jobs Report:
Not Enough Good News

The latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report, published Aug. 6, was on the whole positive. But Blacks and people with disabilities continue to be hit by persistently high unemployment, and true unemployment remains higher than the official government statistics indicate.
In July, 943,000 nonfarm jobs were added, and the June additions were revised upward to 938,000. The information from the household survey was positive too. The unemployment rate fell by half of a percent to 5.4%. For whites, the rate dropped to 4.8%. That's close to conventional definitions of full employment as 4% unemployment. But the rates were still very high for Black people (8.2%) and disabled workers (12.1%).
Also, as the National Jobs for All Network's Full Count shows, actual unemployment is much higher than official estimates. While the official unemployment rate was 5.4%, NJFAN's estimate is 11.7%. This higher number includes 6.5 million people who said they wanted a job but had not recently searched. In fact, there are always millions of people just outside the labor force on the alert for good job opportunities. Some are waiting for changes–personal (such as child-care obligations) or societal (COVID infection surges).
Generally, labor markets are tightening, but not as much as some commentators think. On Aug. 9, we learned from the survey of job openings and separations that there seemed to be more job openings than unemployed people in June. But if we include the hidden unemployed, there are twice as many unemployed and looking for jobs as there are openings.

The jobs report is based on information collected early last month, so it does not reflect the latest COVID spikes.

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The Full Count: July 2021
Unemployment Data

Officially unemployed: 8.7 million (5.4%)

Hidden unemployment: 11.0 million
(Includes 4.5 million people working part-time
because they can't find a full-time job;
and 6.5 million people who want jobs,
but are not actively looking)
Total: 19.7 million (11.7% of the labor force)

There are 2.0 job-wanters for each available job!

For more information and analysis, visit:

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employment Statistics

Since its founding in 1994, the National Jobs for All Network (previously Coalition) has been "telling the whole story" about unemployment.*

Our founders recognized that the official unemployment rate reported monthly by the U.S. Labor Department leaves out more jobless and job short workers than it includes. To be counted as unemployed, one must work less than one hour a week in paid employment and be actively seeking employment. As the above figures show, more than half the unemployed or underemployed are left out of the official count. Consider the political consequences of this undercount—of a problem perceived by the public as less than half as widespread as it really is.

*See "Unemployment Statistics: Let's Tell the Whole Story" by NJFAC founders Helen Lachs Ginsburg, Bill Ayres, and June Zaccone, Employment Statistics: Let's Tell the Whole Story - NJFAC


Get Involved!

The National Jobs for All Network is dedicated to the proposition that meaningful employment is a precondition for a fulfilling life and that every person capable of working should have the right to a job. As part of our mission, the NJFAN promotes discussion, encourages networking, and disseminates information concerning the problem of unemployment, the struggle for workers' rights, and the goal of guaranteeing decent work for everyone who wants it.

NJFAN relies on your support. If you find our material useful, please make a tax-deductible donation. We are all volunteers, except for a part-time coordinator and a part-time administrator.

We are publishing this newsletter to provide a public forum where the multiple groups and countless individuals interested in promoting this goal can learn what others are doing to promote the jobs guarantee idea, build public support for it, and pursue legislative initiatives to implement it.

We invite our readers to:
  • Help us establish a Jobs for All Action clearinghouse by informing us of publications, actions, and events that promote a jobs guarantee and related economic justice goals to share the information with other readers
  • Comment on the contents of this issue of the Jobs for All Newsletter
  • Submit ideas for articles in coming issues of the Jobs for All Newsletter
  • Provide names and email addresses of individuals to whom we may send subsequent Jobs for All newsletter issues.
Please send your updates and contact suggestions to Thanks so much in advance for your help in building this important social movement.

The views expressed in the articles published in the Jobs for All Newsletter (including those authored by editors and writers of the newsletter and board members of the NJFAN) are not necessarily those of the NJFAN as an organization. We hope that the newsletter will become a forum of discussion and debate among jobs-for-all/full-employment/right-to-work/job-guarantee advocates. With that goal in mind, we plan to add a letter to the editor section to the newsletter and also encourage readers to email us at to suggest articles they would like to contribute to the newsletter. We promise a quick response.

Jobs for All Newsletter Committee
Gregory N. Heires (editor); Chuck Bell and Charlotte Wilhelm (production managers); Trudy Goldberg; Philip Harvey; Sarianna Sabbarese; Frank Stricker; Stephen Monroe Tomczak (Movement News); Logan Martinez; June Zaccone (Full Count and NJFAN website) and Noreen Connell.

National Jobs for All Network
P.O. Box 96
Lynbrook, NY 11563
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