With Washington now terrifyingly obsessed with immediate austerity, despite the UK being a perfect example of how misguided such a move is right now, it is important for millions to realize that our economy is in no way back to stable. Two recent stories are great reminders that while the economy probably seems fine for the millionaires in Congress and the millionaires they hang out with at expensive fundraisers, lower income Americans are struggling.

Here is a story about McDonald’s hiring 12,000 more than the 50,000 they originally planned. The depressing news is that over one million applied so only about 6% of those who applied were hired. From Bloomberg:

McDonald’s and its franchisees hired 62,000 people in the U.S. after receiving more than one million applications, the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. Previously, it said it planned to hire 50,000.

There are millions of Americans looking for any kind of work, even that which is considered some of the lowest-level employment in the country, and they are still competing with dozens of other applicants for each opening.

The other story is that the CEO of Walmart says many of its customers, who live paycheck to paycheck, seem to be running out of money much earlier in the month. From CNN:

Lately, they’re “running out of money” at a faster clip, he said.

“Purchases are really dropping off by the end of the month even more than last year,” Duke said. “This end-of-month [purchases] cycle is growing to be a concern.

[...]

To that end, Duke said he’s not seeing signs of a recovery yet.

It is still very tough out there for millions. Official unemployment is at 8.8%, a level that would have been considered shockingly unacceptable and full-scale emergency only a few years ago. I’m curious, when will congressional Republicans turn their focus on “jobs, jobs, and jobs” as promised?