Unemployment up, but not for health care

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Friday’s national unemployment numbers for May were up to 9.4% from 8.9% in April. Since December 2007 when this recession began, 7 million more Americans are unemployed. A study published in January by the Urban Institute estimated that if unemployment reaches 10% this year, 13.2 million Americans will lose employer-sponsored coverage, Medicaid and SCHIP will rise by 5.4 million and the uninsured will rise by 5.8 million. HUSKY enrollment is up almost 20,000 from May of 2008 to May of this year. In other bad news, the average US workweek continued to decline and the number of Americans working at part time jobs for economic reasons (involuntary part time workers) was 9.1 million. Part time jobs are far less likely to come with health benefits. However if there is a silver lining, health care jobs increased by 24,000 between April and May.
Ellen Andrews