More Bad News: 10 Things You Should Know About The Latest Economic Numbers

Saturday, October 9, 2010
By Paul Martin

On Friday, headlines across the United States declared that “unemployment remains unchanged at 9.6%”. Many analysts rejoiced and heralded this announcement as a sign that we have hit bottom and that things will be turning around soon. But is that the truth? A closer look at the unemployment numbers reveals some disturbing facts. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a broader measure of unemployment that includes workers that have stopped looking for work rose sharply to 17.1%. But that is not the only troubling sign from this past week. Agricultural commodities continue to skyrocket, which means that food price increases are on the way. The foreclosure “robo-signing” crisis continues to escalate, and that threatens to throw the entire mortgage industry into a state of absolute turmoil. Meanwhile, the U.S. national debt continues to grow and wealth continues to leave the United States at a dizzying rate.

So is there reason for optimism?

No, not really.

Even if the unemployment numbers had improved slightly, the longer-term trends for unemployment are extremely troubling as you will see from the statistics and the chart below.

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