The October Employment Situation

The United States unemployment rate rose from 9.8 percent in September to 10.2 percent in October, exceeding our forecast and the consensus forecast. We appear to be in-between everyone else and reality again. The data, either quarter-on-quarter or year-on-year, indicate ongoing job losses that are typical for a serious recession.

We have said in the past and continue to say that the United States economy will not pull out of this recession quickly. While jobs are a lagging economic indicator, they feed back into the household’s spending ability. The weakness in jobs will imply weakness in median household income. The two biggest factors that drive consumption, income and wealth, have still not recovered to an extent that will motivate a household-sector-driven rebound in expenditures. Finally, Main Street as well as Wall Street will continue to suffer from high foreclosure rates due to the negative employment situation.

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