The Democratization of Unemployment

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You can thank Samuel Gompers, Peter McGuire and other early union leaders for Labor Day. In between bites at the backyard BBQ, we’re all supposed to celebrate the achievements of those leaders, advances like the 40 hour work week and the radical idea of paid vacation.

But this Labor Day, many Americans are not celebrating anything. The United States has lost 2.7 million jobs since February of 2001, when the economy began its slide. And even today, as the stock market continues its halting climb and people talk of a recovery, unemployment hangs like a dark cloud over the fortunes, and futures of many citizens.


Barry Bluestone, Professor of Political Economy at Northeastern University and Director of the Center for Urban and Regional Policy

Stuart Adkins, unemployed lawyer