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American UnemploymentPast, Present, and Future$
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Frank Stricker

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043154

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043154.001.0001

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Low Pay, Great Recession (2001–2018)

Low Pay, Great Recession (2001–2018)

(p.113) Chapter 5 Low Pay, Great Recession (2001–2018)
American Unemployment

Frank Stricker

University of Illinois Press

Jobs recovered slowly under George W. Bush after the 2001 recession. Growth was boosted by easy credit and a housing boom, but the seeds of the Great Recession were being sown as working-class incomes stayed down. The system crashed in 2008 and unemployment soared. Barack Obama organized deficit spending and job creation, while the Federal Reserve injected trillions of dollars into the economy. Republican resistance and Democratic timidity meant that the federal stimulus was too little by half. The top 10 percent of households recovered faster than the bottom 50 percent. This chapter includes stories of individuals struggling with the loss of jobs and housing. It describes long-term changes that intensify employee insecurity. More jobs are non-union and more employees receive no benefits, face arbitrary schedules, and are classified as independent contractors.

Keywords:   Great Recession, George W Bush, Barack Obama, housing boom, Federal Reserve, federal stimulus, arbitrary schedules, independent contractors

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