How About Those Unemployment Numbers? [Nearing Great Depression Numbers]

11/20/2008 10:35:00 PM

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GD_unemp The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on November 7, 2008 the following:

Employment has fallen by 1.2 million in the first 10 months of 2008; over half of the decrease had occurred in the past 3 months. […]

The unemployment rate rose by 0.4 percentage point to 6.5 percent in October, and the number of unemployed persons increased by 603,000 to 10.1 million.  [As a reminder, after the 1929 Stock Market Crash in October, the unemployment rate in 1930 went from 3.2% to 8.7%.  In the following year, 1931 the rate went to 15.9%.  And in 1932, the unemployment rate went to 23.6%]

That was as of October 31, 2008.  Are you ready for more wonderful news?

The Labor Department said today, that new claims for jobless benefits rose last week to a seasonally adjusted 542,000 from a downwardly revised figure of 515,000 in the previous week.  That is also the highest level of claims since July 1992 according to the Labor Department.

The four-week average of claims is worse:  It rose to 506,500.  The highest in more than 25 years.

If there is any good news in all of this, the Senate approved legislation to extend unemployment benefits through the holidays.  The White House has said Bush would quickly sign the bill.

The measure provides seven additional weeks of payments to those who have exhausted their benefits.  Those in states where the unemployment rate exceeds 6 percent would be eligible for an additional 13 weeks, for a total of 20 extra weeks.  And that is on top of an already 13-week extension approved by Congress in June.  Normally, unemployment benefits last up to 26 weeks.  With the 26 weeks, and the additional 13 weeks from June, and the additional 7 or 20 weeks, that is a total of 46 to 59 weeks.  Without the extension, 1.1 million people would have exhausted their unemployment benefits by the end of the year.

The number of people continuing to collect benefits for one week or more neared a 26-year high.  The number surged by 109,000 to 4,012,000 for the week ending Nov. 8.  The last time the figure was this high was for the week of Dec. 12, 1982 when it reached 4,381,000.

Some of the worse unemployment rates in the nation are in Rhode Island, currently at 9.3%. the highest since February 1983, when Ronald Reagan was in his first term as president. 

Michigan’s unemployment rate rose to 9.3% in October, the highest rate since July 1992.

In Nevada, the September unemployment rate was 7.3%, the most recent available.  In October, Nevada posted the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the 22nd consecutive month in October, with one in every 74 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month – more than six times the national average and up 119% from October 2007.  EDIT:  The October unemployment rate for NV is 7.6%, rising again for the sixth consecutive month.

Arizona, with the second highest foreclosure rate in the nation, with one in every 149 homes receiving a foreclosure filing, had an October unemployment rate of 6.1% up from 5.9% in September.

In Florida, the September unemployment rate was 6.6% with October’s numbers being released tomorrow.  Florida is number three in the nation for foreclosures, with one in every 157 homes receiving notice.  The state’s unemployment hotline hired 200 extra employees and added 70 phone lines, but that hasn’t been enough to keep up with the demand.  EDIT:  The October unemployment rate for FL is 7.0%, a 15-year high.

Georgia is sitting at 7%, the highest in 16 years.

California’s unemployment rate for September was 7.7% the highest in 16 years, with October’s numbers being released tomorrow.  EDIT:  The October unemployment rate for CA is 8.2%.

In Illinois, the unemployment rate went from 6.9% to 7.3% in October.

Get ready everyone, it’s starting to get a little dark and looming on the horizon.  Oh and if you expect your local, county, state governments to help you, forget it.  Your on your own.  Maybe the Federal government will get around to us by the middle of next summer, after bailing out the banks, bailing out the Big 3, and taking their winter vacation to the Hamptons.


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