JK! The economy’s still in the dumps

A weekly round-up of hopeless recession news.

  • We lost another 85,000 jobs in December, tempering hopes for a swift and sustained recovery from the Great Recession. The unemployment rate remains at 10 percent. [NYT]
  • Troubled home loans continued to mount in the nation’s banks in the third quarter as even once-solid borrowers increasingly fell behind on their mortgage payments. For the first quarter ever, the number of homes in foreclosure with mortgages serviced by U.S. national banks and savings and loans topped the 1-million mark. [LAT]
  • About six million Americans receiving food stamps report they have no other income. About one in 50 Americans now lives in a household with a reported income that consists of nothing but a food-stamp card. One in eight Americans now receives food stamps, including one in four children. [NYT]
  • High unemployment is spreading in New York City beyond the poorest neighborhoods to once-secure middle-class enclaves, where some residents are falling behind on rent and mortgage payments. [WSJ]
  • The downturn in the economy in 2009 sent people looking for new ways of making money online. Notably, fraudsters tried a variety of tricks to separate people from their money, including preying on unemployed Web surfers with work-at-home and other offers too good to be true. [CNET]
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3 thoughts on “JK! The economy’s still in the dumps

  1. The Household part of the monthly BLS survey mentions 465,000 lost jobs. 647,000 full time jobs left the building. But that’s not even remotely where the true problem lies.

    The reason why unemployment, as per the Household survey, stayed at 10% and “only” 85,000 jobs are reported MIA in the Payroll survey can be found in the labor force numbers. From November to December 2009, the “persons not in the labor force” category went up by 843,000 (over 1 million when not seasonally adjusted), and now stands at 83,865,000. The vast majority of those signing off, i.e. not actively looking for work, are people who can’t see any jobs anywhere in their environment. The worse the economy gets, the fewer people are counted as unemployed. It’s a lovely invention, but it’s also am awfully perverted one.

    There are now a whopping 2.5 million people without a job but want one, yet are not counted as unemployed.

    So yes, the “official unemployment rate” can hold its own or even drop with this kind of nonsense, but the announced unchanged unemployment rate holding steady at 10% is a brutal distortion of reality at best.

    • Also often forgotten in this debate is the fact that our nation needs about 150,000, preferably solid middle class, new jobs each month to keep pace with our nation’s explosive third world rate of population growth. That is to say, our nation loses jobs relative to population every month when 150,000 net new jobs are not added.

      So, if we lost 85,000 jobs in December, we really lost about 235,000 jobs relative to population growth.

      It’s too bad that the government will not compile and report on the percentage of working-aged people 18-70 who are employed.

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