• June Unemployment Data: Cloudy with a Chance of Depressing

    nohelpwantedAs if June's dismal weather wasn't bad* enough, the Labor Department today released unemployment data for the month.

    Is there such a thing as an umbrella that can shield us from sadness?

    The American economy shed 467,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate rose to 9.5 percent from 9.4 percent, its highest level in 26 years, the Labor Department reported on Thursday.

    And the kicker, the four-foot gutter puddle, if you will:

    The median time people go without a job has increased to more than four months, from slightly more than two months at the outset of the recession in December 2007.

    “We have never seen a duration of that magnitude,” Lynn Reaser, vice president for the National Association for Business Economics, said. “There are a lot of ramifications. A lot of these people become discouraged, and they drop out of the work force. It affects their spending, their whole psychological frame of mind.”

    And you know what we call that phenomenon, don't you?

    That's right. A mental recession.

    *At least it was bad on the East Coast. If you live someplace that's been dry and sunny, do me a favor and don't talk about it.

    Tags: Economy, Phil Gramm, Unemployment


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