Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This is probably the safety net's fault

There were 4.6 unemployed workers for every job opening in the United States in August, according to new data from the Labor Department.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, via Haver Analytics

That’s a slight tick up from July, because the number of unemployed rose slightly and the number of job openings fell.

At my Facebook page, a conservative friend argued this morning that safety net programs like food stamps foster dependency by lazy twentysomethings on an indulgent government. That's a worry we can save for when economic times are good. Right now, they're not. The reason so many people aren't working isn't because they're getting fat on the taxpayer dime; it's because there's not that much work to be had.

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