Every so often, I find myself checking out the pulse of unemployment. While thinking of the appropriate theme for this year’s Labor Day post, I decided to take a different turn away from the usual summer holiday banter about family and barbecue grills. After all, this site is here to give continued visibility and commentary about the economy.
Unfortunately, tough times may still be ahead for a lot of people. Here are some points I gathered from this article in the L.A. Times that takes a look at unemployment in recent years.
- Recent downturns we’ve been experiencing have been equal-opportunity “unemployers”.
- Although the misery is widespread, some demorgraphic groups have been hit harder than others. Your situation is influenced by your age, education and the industry you work in.
- It makes sense that the people who are worst hit before a recession should be the worst off while a recession is ongoing. Not surprised about this one.
- It takes longer for the average unemployed person to find a job than it did when unemployment peaked in past years (ie. October 2009).
- During slowdowns, more jobs are being lost than created.
- A slow job recovery points to job growth primarily in lower-wage occupations.
Foreclosure Rates, Job Statistics & More Unemployment Numbers
Here’s more evidence of the job erosion we’re hearing about on the media circuit. You know I love maps — economic maps, in particular. The last few ones I’ve featured here illustrated the U.S. unemployment rates and California’s unemployment rate history. I’ve also covered business cycles and historical financial charts in the past, so I thought it would be a good time to revisit the bigger picture on our economy in terms of the job situation, foreclosure rates and unemployment figures. Plus, let’s check out how all these numbers fit against what the government has done for our economy over the last few years via the effects of the stimulus bill. Has the massive stimulus package had any impact on our economy?
It’s easy to see how things are going, care of CNN.com’s Economy Tracker. Following are some of the visual guides or maps I’ve seen, illustrating the health of our economy from January 2007 all the way through December 2010. The maps are interactive (just the way I like it), so by using the sliders that are available in these trackers, you’ll see just how things have evolved over the past years. Here’s a snapshot of the charts that track the economy, showing data for February 2010 (click on the images below to expand them):
Check out how the economic numbers have changed over time. Do you see any indication here that we can expect any sort of improvement in our economic health in the near term? We can only hope. Note that these were last year’s numbers; for more updated information, please check this page.
As an aside, let me gripe about something I’m seeing here. As a Californian, I’ve noticed that a lot of the stimulus money was sent our way, but it seems like things haven’t really changed much. We’re still seeing bad unemployment numbers — among the worst in the nation. Is it no surprise that we’re in this financial quagmire when stuff like runaway vacation pay in the public sector is seen as part of our financial landscape? This is nuts; I can only wonder when our state will start getting its act together. Sucks to be a Silicon Valley mom with school-aged kids right about now…
Is this the new normal? It sure is starting to feel this way. The economy clearly has a huge impact on our employment status. And our employment situation obviously affects how likely it would be for us to afford the basic things in life (and whether some families will be able to put food on the table or afford the roof over their heads). The key to getting back on track if you’re unemployed is to work on new skills, cast a wide net on your job search and try to network as hard as you can. It may be time to take a few risks too, like investing in yourself or moving to a new place where job demand exists. Have you lost your job or landed a new one? If you’ve landed a job in this economy, let us know. We’d love to hear good news!
Created September 6, 2010. Updated September 3, 2011. Copyright © 2011 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.