Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Numbers Tell the Story

Friday, December 12, 2008

Numbers Tell the Story

The economy just seems to be getting worse and worse. Thursday saw new jobless claims, which are seasonably adjusted at 573,000, at their highest level since, well, since the year I graduated from college. There were fewer people in the job market in 1982, so the percentage was higher then than now, but in terms of sheer numbers, that's how far you've got to go back. It wasn't just to avoid the poor job market, but I opted out of looking for a job at that point by staying in school and entering a graduate program. Still, things looked pretty dire for friends who were striking out on their own.

Paul Krugman calls this report "terrifying," pointing out that we're now losing jobs at a rate of 600,000 or 700,000 a month. That's not a good long-term trend (in fact, Krugman labels it a "nosedive"). There's no reason to expect that we're hitting a bottom of any kind, as the pink slips just keep on coming. Bank of America alone is looking to cut as many as 35,000 jobs over the next three years. Is that long-term enough for you?


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