The Associated press has been one of the President’s biggest cheerleaders but with unemployment now topping ten percent even they’re asking What recover?
Just when it was beginning to look a little better, the economy relapsed Friday with a return to double-digit unemployment for only the second time since World War II and warnings that next year will be even worse than previously thought.
The jobless rate rocketed to 10.2 percent in October, the highest since early 1983, dealing a psychological blow to Americans as they prepare holiday shopping lists. It was another worse-than-expected report casting a shadow over the struggling recovery.
President Barack Obama called it “a sobering number that underscores the economic challenges that lie ahead.” He signed a measure to extend unemployment benefits and to expand a tax credit for homebuyers.
Economists had not expected the 10 percent mark to come so quickly and immediately darkened their forecasts. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com, and Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at MFR Inc., predicted the rate will peak at 11 percent by mid-2010. They earlier had projected 10.5 percent.
Unemployment at 11 percent would be a post-World War II record. Only once since then has joblessness hit double digits in the United States — from September 1982 to July 1983, topping out at 10.8 percent.
The article strikes fairly pessimistic tone in its reporting on the economy and accelerating pace of job losses. The only real quibble I have with it is that the economy hasn’t “relapsed”. Outside of small decline in July because of a statistical anomaly the unemployment rate has been rising steadily all year. In fact October’s month-over-month increase is the largest since May, and four times as large as the last monthly difference.