Employment line

In Labor Department speak, unknown numbers of “discouraged workers” across the United States have disappeared. They are unemployed and have given up looking for a job, at least for the time being, and so they’ve fallen off the radar screen of economists and daily-news reporters.

It is so bad out there that they’ve taken themselves out of the labor market because of fatigue, so the government ignores their very existence, which exacerbates the whole problem. Their numbers can be estimated at only about 400,000 for the country; I suspect there are many more of them.

What is known: More than a million people in California are out of a job and still willing to look for work. I guess the analysts would have to dub them “encouraged.”

Despite the fact that the economy is supposedly growing, the jobs aren’t keeping up, so real income, that which provides steam for our economic engine, is not growing along with it.

Economic jargon aside, the unemployed want to know: Brother, can you spare a job?

So, what are the unemployed to do—stay at home and read stories about the improving economy in California? I guess the encouraged can lower their standards and take any job that puts food on the table, even if it means enduring what writer Harmon Leon did in this week’s cover story (“Redefining the power suit”).

Speaking of this week, the infrequent alignment of Thursday, when SN&R comes out, and April 1, otherwise known as April Fools’ Day, motivated a few stories in the arts section of the paper: an Arts&culture piece on a new route from Folsom to downtown exclusively designated for Hummer owners, a Music piece on a frustrated mime, and a record review of a new basketball-related hip-hop CD. Believe them or not.