Monday, November 9, 2009, AM | 1 Comment
U.S. unemployment surged to 10.2% last month. Economists say it’s the highest since 1982/1983, that’s when it hit 10.8 percent. It’s much worse than expected as employers continue to trim jobs despite other signs of growth in the national economy. If some economists say the U.S. economy is on a rebound, it sure has not translated into jobs and shows continued weakness in the labor market even though the economy grew in the third quarter following the longest and deepest downturn since the Great Depression.
If the U.S. economy has started to show some signs of recovery, and the folks on the street have not seen it and worse have lost so much in terms of emotional and financial well-being, then what good is the “sign” of recovery.
Are these just numbers that the government and in turn the economists play with and try to come up with some answers – some superficial answers – that the common folks, like us, hear it with one ear and let it go out the other?
To tell you the truth, I was gainfully employed back in 1982 and 1983 when the rate of unemployment hit 10.8%. But I didn’t notice anything – all of my friends were working with good and decent pay. So I didn’t “feel” that it was 10.8% and what it actually meant to us – the employed.
Now that I am unemployed, I feel it because, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics – U.S. Department of Labor – I am one of the 10.2% of folks who don’t have a job. Nothing, zilch, nada. So even today, for the 89.8% who do have a job will have a difficult time imagining how the 10.2% would try to make ends meet just like I didn’t have any idea how the unemployed back then did to put food on the table so their kids would have something to eat.
In a Nutshell
So these numbers mean one thing to the unemployed and could mean entirely different to the majority of the employed if the latter can comprehend and understand how the minority, in this case the 10.2%, cope everyday in their financial lives.
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