Thinking about Unemployement

As the City begins looking at another bleak budget forecast and negotiations with it’s labor unions, let’s hope they keep these numbers in mind.
The State of Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Unemployment Assistance has released the latest data on unemployement for all of Massachusetts and the Cities and Towns therein.
The seasonally unadjusted numbers for Methuen are no better than anywhere else.
The unemployement rate for February 2009 was 9.8%. The rates for January and February 2010, respectively, are 12.7% and 12.4%. Percentages are great but what does that mean in human, person, terms?
Looking at the same dates as above 2,292 persons were unemployed in February 2009. In the period of January and February 2010, the number of persons unemployed was, resepctively, 3,068 and 2,963.
Though it shows a slight uptick,about 105 people found work, there are still large numbers of your friends and relatives who are looking for jobs that don’t exist. It is a difficult time for many of these people.

The unemployement rate for Municipal workers in Methuen is near zero(0). They receive pay increases, contractually, just for showing up. They cannot be rated by performance for raises and promotions. They effectively do not get laid off and we have seen that the weak Civil Service Commission assures that no one gets fired, no matter what the reason.

The elected officials made much of the rhetoric that ALL departments took a 10% pay cut last year. Don’t get me wrong, the unions did step up and make assurances that helped balance the budget. However they did not all take a 10% pay cut. They did give back some longevity, clothing allowances and other perks that may or may not have equalled 10% per union.

Wait until the overtime is calculated for last year. My guess is that you will not see that our government spent 10% less than it initially budgetted. I would be very suprised to see that the Government spent any % less than the original figures.

Did the City work on any grants to help the unemployed citizens get back to work? They got grants for municipal employees.
Did they renegotiate property taxes for unemployed persons to either waive or carry forward or reduce or make payment plans?
Did they state that they would not shut off water for unpaid bills to unemployed persons while they were receiving unemployement payments from the state? Not that I recall.

The City should hire all the unemployed people in it’s borders. Then with full employement all the revenues will go up. The amount of revenue generated should be sufficient to continue down the path we have been trodding. Hmmmmmm, isn’t that a kind of circular logic or illogic?

Kind of makes one think.

admin posted at 2010-4-11 Category: Uncategorized

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