Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Economy Is Even Worse Than You Think

By MORTIMER ZUCKERMAN



The recent unemployment numbers have undermined confidence that we might be nearing the bottom of the recession. What we can see on the surface is disconcerting enough, but the inside numbers are just as bad.



The Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary estimate for job losses for June is 467,000, which means 7.2 million people have lost their jobs since the start of the recession. The cumulative job losses over the last six months have been greater than for any other half year period since World War II, including the military demobilization after the war. The job losses are also now equal to the net job gains over the previous nine years, making this the only recession since the Great Depression to wipe out all job growth from the previous expansion.



Here are 10 reasons we are in even more trouble than the 9.5% unemployment rate indicates:

[Commentary] David Klein



- June's total assumed 185,000 people at work who probably were not. The government could not identify them; it made an assumption about trends. But many of the mythical jobs are in industries that have absolutely no job creation, e.g., finance. When the official numbers are adjusted over the next several months, June will look worse.



- More companies are asking employees to take unpaid leave. These people don't count on the unemployment roll.

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