Friday, February 06, 2009

How Low Can It Go?

The official unemployment figures for the month of January were released earlier today and they do not look good. Actually, the 598.000 jobs lost last month ranks as the highest single month job loss in over 35 years. And if that is not enough bad news the recent job losses have increased the official rate of unemployment in the US to 7.6%, which is the highest that we have experienced since 1992. On the relatively bright side, there were two private sectors that did not experience any job losses; Education added 32600 jobs and Health Care saw an increase of 20700 jobs.

This recession is already 14 months old/young and it shows no signs of slowing down yet. Although the total jobs lost over this period has already amounted to 3.6 million some predict that we might have another 2-3 million to go. Unfortunately these prognosticators might turn out to be right. If one is to examine the historical record of the last 6-7 recessions then what becomes very evident is that unemployment peaks towards the end of recessions; that is why it is called a lagging indicator. If that is so then fasten your seat belts for a rough ride.


Anonymous said...

The lowest point i belive in the market can only be determined by the consumers of products. We have to start buying things to make this low not become to low but other wise the market is usally ahead of the economy by about 2 months so i belive the low might not so far away which is a huge progress.
-Ben Williams

Anonymous said...

True, consumers do need to start buying things... but with what money?? Nobody knows how long this thing is going to last, so people are doing the logical thing and holding on to their money as best they can. The consumer cannot be blamed. The fingers of blame should be overwhelmingly pointed at the CEOs and other executives-- who's companies lost millions of dollars and laid-off thousands of workers-- who gave themselves $10 million bonuses. The fingers should also be pointed in the direction of the government in power since Reagan... these executives and wall street wolves can't govern themselves... and now we as the consumers have to spend money we don't have trying to fix what these guys broke?? It starts at the top, and if Obama is the man I, and others think he is, then hopefully with some restructuring and some moral, ethical standards the world will be able to pull itself out of this enormous ditch. But either way--it starts at the top.
-Chris Cochran-Torres

Anonymous said...

The status of the economy is obviously going to get worse before it gets any better. The raise of unemployment is tragic but a necessity to get the economy back on their feet. Its true consumers need to spend more but i agree with the second comment money is becoming more of a scarcity as the recession proceeds

-----Angelica Farrell( Wednesday)

Mary B. Dixon said...

I agree that consumers need to buy, but when you don't have a can you afford to purchase anything other then basic items to live? Our country is used to people buying luxury items and that just isn't the case when we are at a 7.2% unemployment rate and that number seems to just keep on increasing. I feel that we are in a hole and it is only getting deeper. I am actually very worried about the students that will graduate soon...I hope they have grad school in mind b/c I don't know about finding and keeping a job.

Anonymous said...

It's good to hear that more jobs are available for health care and education, two of the most important fields in our society, but the best thing to do right now is be smart with your money, and just ride out the recession. The economy is like a rollercoaster and will eventually bounce back up. We as consumers must not see this as a threat but instead make smart decisions between consumption and saving.
-Brian Smith

Anonymous said...

Spending is not going to happen. Let's be realistic without employment
we need to save our income to make
the important things like rent, food,
insurance and basic living necessities. Scarcity will keep most people from spending unwisely.

A forthenberry

Anonymous said...

I can understand both sides of the coin. I am a customer with no money but I also work in retail where no making money is costing people their jobs thus causing more problems for us all. At some point things need to find a balance or were going to be in big trouble.
Amanda McQueen 106 WED