Hold onto your cash, if you have any.
Think the worst is over? Wrong. Conditions in the U.S. labor markets are awful and worsening. While the official unemployment rate is already 10.2% and another 200,000 jobs were lost in October, when you include discouraged workers and partially employed workers the figure is a whopping 17.5%.
While losing 200,000 jobs per month is better than the 700,000 jobs lost in January, current job losses still average more than the per month rate of 150,000 during the last recession.
Also, remember: The last recession ended in November 2001, but job losses continued for more than a year and half until June of 2003; ditto for the 1990-91 recession.
So we can expect that job losses will continue until the end of 2010 at the earliest. In other words, if you are unemployed and looking for work and just waiting for the economy to turn the corner, you had better hunker down. All the economic numbers suggest this will take a while. The jobs just are not coming back.
There's really just one hope for our leaders to turn things around: a bold prescription that increases the fiscal stimulus with another round of labor-intensive, shovel-ready infrastructure projects, helps fiscally strapped state and local governments and provides a temporary tax credit to the private sector to hire more workers. Helping the unemployed just by extending unemployment benefits is necessary not sufficient; it leads to persistent unemployment rather than job creation.
This is the reality. The health care argument/debate has and was handled badly by the White House. This bill should have been a done deal and Obama should have stated, with no questions, what he WOULD sign in a bill and what he would NOT sign in a bill. That did not happen, he gave it to the congress and well, we saw what happened. Today is November 16, 2009, the longer this legislation is dragged out, which it is, the quicker the White House will compromise, do whatever to get this thing signed and put a stamp of REFORM on it.
Will it be reform? I doubt it. But, we will see. In the meantime, as people continue to lose their jobs and health care, there are NO JOBS in sight for many in this country. Talk about 2 year, plus, unemployment. No joke, that is what is going on here.
2010, all about the economy and JOBS. Democrats make sure you craft your message very carefully, because many are angered at the continued bailout banks, bailing out of Wall Street and feeling LEFT BEHIND and/or forgotten.
That is the anger reality out here and the Democrats need to fix this.