Unemployment Stimulus, BP Edition
It was only a matter of time before the administration converted the Gulf spill tragedy into the latest unemployment stimulus program. The Unified Command in Mobile, Alabama announced today the first deployment of the
Qualified Community Responder (QCR) program that will put unemployed
individuals to work in the counties that may be affected by the oil
spill. Working closely with the Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida
unemployment offices, unemployed workers have been hired to help with
the cleanup effort. There is no conformation yet whether any of these "unemployed" will be quintuple BLS-counted census workers, or just what death (birth, not so much) adjustment to crustacean wildlife the Department of Labor will apply in order to avoid a comparable overpromise/underdeliver gaffe as this Friday's NFP. And since the oilspill will likely reach Maine relatively soon, we expect the entire Eastern seabord to see at least half a million monthly pick up in temporary workers by the time there is no water left in the Oiltlantic Ocean, some time in September.
Starting today some 400 QCR workers in Florida and Alabama began cleaning affected beaches.
The QCR program secures local labor to help with a variety of tasks associated with cleaning beaches. QCR workers are trained and ready to help prevent and respond to the impacts of oil on the shoreline.
The plan is to train more than 4,500 workers in the three states in the Mobile Sector (1,500 in Alabama, 1,500 in Mississippi, and 1,600 in Florida). To date there are 2,946 people trained and ready to be deployed (978 in Alabama, 1,500 in Mississippi, and 468 in Florida).
QCR workers will perform shoreline cleanup activities that may include carrying and handling materials and supplies, raking or shoveling debris, operating front end loaders or power washers to clean rocks and beach areas, wiping or washing oil-covered items, and removing trash. These workers will not be dealing with impacted wildlife as there are specialists trained for those activities.
Safety is a primary concern, so all QCR workers have received extensive safety training and instruction on beach cleanup techniques for the activities they will be performing. All QCR workers will have the appropriate personal protective equipment and tools to clean the beaches.
The QCR program that hires unemployed workers is in addition to the states’ programs that will use potentially thousands of volunteers to walk the beaches looking for signs of oil in order to quickly identify areas needing cleanup.
Once operation LMRP proceeds to its natural conclusion and the nukes come out, we can't wait to see what part of the unemployed population the administration will use for alpha/beta (not so much gamma) ray shielding, and as a prop to June's nonfarm payrolls. We are confident that Rahm will not dissapoint.