Good news: Economic stress reaches 18-month low

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Despite a bleak report on job numbers earlier this month, the year may end with good news for job seekers after all.

According to research released by the Associated Press earlier today, economic stress levels across the country reached an 18-month low point in October, largely due to job growth. The monthly report, which analyzes economic stress based on factors like employment levels and foreclosure rates found that, month-to-month, stress fell in 56 percent of the 3,100 U.S. counties examined. Additionally, just more than one-third of those counties were considered economically stressed, down from 35 percent in September.

Besides painting a positive picture for the U.S. economy, the report also provides valuable insight on both the industries and geographic areas that will be the best bets for job seekers in the new year.

Read on for a breakdown of the best and worst areas and industries for jobs (and click the links for jobs in each area).

If you’re in the midst of a job search, you might want to start looking for work as a farmer, a stock broker or a retail salesperson. That’s because counties in which a large number of jobs came from industries like farming, retail and finance, along with manufacturing, technology and insurance, had the healthiest economies and experienced the largest decrease in economic stress levels. According to the report, factors like an increase in overall U.S exports and the staying power of technology companies have contributed to the relative health of these sectors.

Since certain areas of the country lend themselves to different industries, geography also played a big part in economic health. The economy in Florida, for example, is heavily dependent on tourism – an industry hard-hit by the recession – in addition to having a small manufacturing sector. Consequently, it was the only state that had a month-to-month incline in economic stress level.

“Manufacturing is having a bit of a resurgence, and with Florida lacking a large manufacturing sector, we’re not really participating in that particular uptick,” Sean Snaith, an economist at the University of Central Florida, said in the AP report. “We were certainly impacted by the Gulf oil spill, and we still have high unemployment. All of these things kind of swirl into this misery stew that keeps stress high in Florida.”

Despite its troubles, Florida still wasn’t deemed the most-stressed state. Nevada posted the highest stress-level in October, followed by Florida, California, Michigan and Arizona.

So where should you look if you want to increase your chances of landing a steady job in a thriving industry?

According to the report, the strongest states were in New England and the Midwest, due to the prevalence of technology and manufacturing companies in these areas, respectively. Overall, the states with the healthiest economies were North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Vermont and New Hampshire.

Since the beginning of 2010, the states with the largest drop in economic stress were South Carolina, Alabama, New Hampshire, Michigan and Massachusetts. Since the AP began analyzing economic stress on a monthly basis in October 2007, North Dakota, Nebraska, Vermont, South Dakota and Alaska have had the most stable economies.

Despite the fact that the economies of some states are in better shape than others at present, things seem to be heading in the right direction for the U.S. as a whole, and may be markedly better by the end of next year. According to an ABC News analysis of the AP report, Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, forecasts “that the tax cuts will boost growth, as measured by the gross domestic product, as high as 3 percent next year, up from [a] previous forecast of 2.4 percent. That should be enough to lower unemployment to below 9 percent by the end of 2011.”

Now that would be some really good news.

What do you think about the AP report? Tell us in the comments section, below.

For more on employment, see:

TheWorkBuzz: Employment Trends

83 Comments
  1. Pingback: Good news: Economic stress reaches 18-month low : The Work Buzz | Michigan Not Mexico

  2. Nice, but the unemployment rate just raised to 9.8%. If you read this for your economic news plan on being poor forever. LOL

  3. Attention to figures: in56% of counties the index fell means that in the rest of the counties (44% of all) it went up or remained stable. The happy states, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Nebraska, are also much smaller economies than the sad ones: California, Michigan, etc.

  4. My husband might be getting laid off from AT&T so jobs are still firing so who can make it at minimum wage.
    We started a coffee business for a plan B now it looks like it might be a plan A.

  5. I am sorry, but I totally do not get their math… The approx. Average New weekly unemployment rate is 400,000. In one month that is 1.6 Million people without work.
    Then they boat about some 39,000 Jobs added…. Unless im totally retarded, thats still a monthly LOSS of jobs of about 1.56 MILLION JOBS A MONTH…. What freaking job growth???

    Im either really stupid, or I do not understand Math, or I have no idea what job growth means…

    But when the numbers tell me that 1.5 million people go unemployed per month… Something is not right.

    • New jobless claims are not the same as lost jobs.
      The change in employment equals the total number of people working this month minus the number last month.
      New jobless claims is more a measure of mobility than anything else, i.e. people changing jobs.
      In the “good old days”, there were typically 250,000 – 300,000 new jobless claims per week while the economy was adding some 150,000 – 250,000 jobs per month.
      People should read enough to at least understand the vocabulary before cluttering logs with stupid comments.

  6. the question needs to be asked of harry reid, were you elected to look out for the people of the us, if so then why do you and your investor buddies insist on sending “stimlus money” as well as “green jobs” to china. there are wind turbine manufacturers here in the us (yes they are forigen corperations, but they are here and employ us citizens)granted they don’t work as cheaply as the chinese so there would be less profit for the fat cats, but wouldnt this be so much better for OUR country than lineing your pockets with money that your not going to pay taxes on anyway ????

      • I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: “Amerikka has the best politicians money can buy. Trouble is, Big Business has bought every last one of them.”

  7. We have a high number of people on unemployment and their benefits were just extended again for over a year . Maybe it should be made manditory for them to accept these jobs because taxpayers are paying for all these unemployment benefits extensions

    • Just what jobs would they be accepting Mindy? I live in a 14% unemployment rate area. Anything available – even fast food or retail is rapidly filled.

      • In response to Misty 123, the alternative to cutting off unemployment benefits is anarchy. There will be rioting in the streets, just like you see in France and in England. Besides, the US government under George Bush was responsible to the crisis in thew first place. Let the government pay, and take it out of those who have jobs. This is the system under which we live, like it or not

        • Bob Maybe if people save some $ for a rainy day they wouldn’t need 99 weeks plus of benefits. Most americans spend every dime on things that they store away or throw away. How much longer do you want to be coddled by the gov’t Do anything to make a $ Ask family and your community, thats the way it used to be thats the way it should be. We have grown so far apart from family and friends we hardly know each other.

        • Another lib looking repeating Obama excuses!! The president cannot spend money without the approval of congress!!
          This current mess is a 90% democrat mess caused by the attempted social engineering of the housing market. The democrats were in charge of congress for the last two years of the Bush presidentcy. They appointed Barnie Franks to be CEO of fanny mae and Chris Dodd to be CEO o freddie mac, both agency are in charge of underwriting realestate loans by guarenting the loans.
          Then there was Acorn running around with there own interpetation of Clintons community reinvestment act blackmailing banks into making loans to minorities, and illegals that did not even have a JOB!!! Bush tried to shut them down but Barnie Franks called him a raciest that did not want Blacks and mexicans to have houses!! Barnie even claimed that Fannie Mae was “rock solid” to investors both domestic and forign just before it collapsed and almost took out our economy and the world economy!! So as a reward for following good socialist principles Barnie who should have gone to prision was put in charge of the banking system by Obama!!! The democrats are responsiable keep things going the way Obama is directing them and just watch the economy keep going down the tube!!

          • You are a racist who supports keeping minorities, women and gays DOWN, and supports businesses sending jobs overseas, and fossil and nuclear fuels and utilities, instead of zero-point energy tapping clean-cheap energy that big business tried to suppress. You are a dinosaur. We are for peace, freedom, low energy prices, and plentiful, good paying jobs, like we had during the Clinton administration!

    • Misty, honey…I have been unemployed off and on for almost 2 years now (I had 2 seperate jobs that I was hired at, only to be layed off from within weeks). In my area, there are several unemployment groups for professionals, such as myself, who previously occupied high level jobs. We, in these groups, in addition to searching for employment day in and day out, have volunteered in our communities, both civilly and privately. I personally know if at least 85 people, that if our state were to say ” Alright. We will keep paying your unemployment (which, FYI, is 60% of 72% of your previous income, i.e. about 43%) if you use your professional skills to provide [what would essentially be] free services to your local and state government/ communities.” , these individuals would jump at the chance to use their [now waning] skills. As a matter of fact, a number of us offered, even going as far as to write letters to the DOL commissioner. You know what we were told? “No way.” So before you spout off about what you think everyone should be doing, take a good hard look at what everyone already IS doing.

        • Stephen WV – And that is just one of the many shames of this economy. There are services that people need, that others whom are unemplyed are willing to provide, but that the beaurocracy will not allow for. Most of the people I know in my same position (I will allow that there are still a slim minority that believe that they will be able to get another position paying the same amount that they were making before being layed off) are looking at taking 1 or more jobs paying 50% to 60% of what they were previously earning. This still puts them over the [about] 43% they are bringing home on unemployment, but anything under that and they are unable to house, feed and clothe themselves in addition to repaying any long-term debt they might have accrued (in good faith) while the economy was still good. Many of them have downsized their living arrangements, some to the point of moving in with relatives to save some expenses. Many of them have also attempted to renegotiate their debts, but barring that [scant] ability, they have tapped out their savings, severance (if any was given) and 401k’s (which, by the way, further dilutes the already flooded market with cheap stocks) in an effort to afford, what many of them consider, will be their reality for a while. The problem with this (not that anyone here can do a thing about it) is that there are now several million people with debts to companies that they will either not be able to repay in full, or at all. This in turn, since the companies have created their profit sheets off these book debts, which they assumed would be repaid in full, has created a situation where the companies are laying off more people to increase their numbers in the black on their balance sheets (a practice which is deplorable, at best). Those newly unemployed people, have now added to the group of those whom have difficulty repaying their debts, thus creating a vicious cycle. It’s a complex problem that requires a complex, and far reaching solution, one which, I fear, our nation does not have the stomach for.

    • Yo Misty, unless you have ever been unemployed, you won’t realize how important unemployment benefits are. Besides, they are not funded by taxpayers, because employers pay a substantial part of benefits.

      • Lefty
        The money in the unemployment funds ran out a long time ago. The tax payers are now paying the bill. Why work for $10 or$12 per hour or less, when you are paid $412 per week not to work. And heaven forbid if you have to work 2 jobs.

    • Do you really think that there are jobs for all of the people who are unemployed? That’s why unemployment benefits have been extended… There are 4 or 5 jobseekers for every job. To continue to get employment, you need to show that you are looking for work and you need to accept offers of work. You obviously don’t realize that people who are unemployed want to work.. Who can live on $300/week (the average unemployment check) ? Who would want to?

      My wish for you, Misty, is that you find out tomorrow that your job is gone. Then you might understand things better.. and become a more compassionate human being.

  8. We’ve had these same tax cuts for several yrs. I cannot understand how anyone, expecially so called “experts”, can say they’ll work this time. I’ve never found an instance in my life where doing something that hasn’t worked for yrs worked when I did it again. As far as statistics, I don’t believe a word I read. Anyone with any sense knows the figures are juggled, manipulated andm, typically, bought to say whatever needs to be said. In fact, repeating a failed plan simply tells me what a true mess we’re in.

    • The Democrats have been in charge for “several years.” If a business owner has more money to spend he can use it to hire more people (or to keep current employees on the payroll) and expand the business. Perhaps he can lease bigger office space to expand, or increase the part time clerical person to full time. Perhaps he (or she) can expand the employee health plan or increase company holidays from 7 to 8. I am sadded by the demonization of the so called rich who have the most potential to grow the economy. Local businesses (plumbers, electricians or other service related companies), (engineering companies, CPA firms, waste management, consulting, retail, restaurants) and more are the BACKBONE of local economies. Large companies were once small. I just don’t understand why it is even a notion that the government has any further claim to the hard work and ingenuity of these people.

      • I agree 100% Hard work and financial success seems to be the devil except if you are a politician. They seem to have no problem making lots of $ for themselves only us little people better not be successful or we will be taxed to death…

        • Evo- The last time they were this rich, was right before the stock market crash of the ’20′s. This “Great Recession” we are in is just a nasty pre-curser to an even more horrendous depression our country will soon face.

      • You assume ost rich people are business owners. THat is NOT the case. Plus, you assume business owners use their own personal salary to hire workers. THey do not. THey use the profits form THE BUSINESS to hire workers, if needed, and the trend since the late 1980s has been to increase profits by DOWNSIZING, and making the people that remain work twice as hard, fearing for their jobs. Businesses have just pocketed the extra money from the Bush tax cuts, and sent jobs overseas. Reaganomics has never worked, and tricleke down does not tricled don, never has. You must grow the economy from the botttom up, not the top down. GREED is NOT good. Like the 1920s, it leads to DEPRESSION!

    • Zeke, why is it that every, and I mean EVERY, time “tax cuts” are made (with much hoopla and ballyhoo), I not only wind up with LESS money in my paycheck (back in the days when I actually got one), but Gubbamint spending also increases? There are no tax cuts, it’s all a shell game.

  9. Just looking around my workplace where hours are being cut and hiring freeze are still in effect. A lot of employees are still on a on call basis. How can I say
    it is getting better?

  10. I have God on my side and have been out of work since Sep 2009. I worked for the US Census, but it wasn’t long enough to be considered viable for unemployment. The states that are stressed are no surprise to me: Nevada, California, Florida, Michigan and Arizona. States that rely on tourism or large ticket buying. They have the highest percentage of underwater homeowners. They have the highest rates of unemployment.

    Not much disposable income around these days.

  11. Sounds like contrived propaganda….and turnip truck material.
    now the good news is if you are a Farmer, or want to be one..huh???(who’s selling seeds, Monsanto?) Retail sales , a typically low paying j.o.b. is making the headlines?..Sears is hiring..who’s buying?. and you can join the Wall street team and be a stockbroker..they are expecting a big boon after the Repoobahs begin the process to privatize Social security.. and wait for oil drilling to step up off-shore production again. Military spending is high… Medical Insurance sales should be good especially senior supplemental insurance policies( as we baby boomers hit the 65 number.)..and living up to their promise, expect the new congress and their friends in the senate to repeal any hopes for affordable health care in this or any other lifetime. for 51 million people, who have none..
    and where are the manufacturing jobs>>>??? Relocation teams are here from china…all aboard! The stress test is working well if you believe the easter bunny press corp run by mega corporate execs…Don’t you love the real people dancing in the street with the good news?
    Wall-Mart may be hiring – start at $7.65hr….now there’s the bell weather of the new economy… happy trails..support your National Media Conglomerates, and look for the latest reports on what’s happening on the streets of America..

  12. Are you kidding me????? The unemployment rate goes up and people are less stressed???? Did you ask the 17 million or so people without jobs how they feel? When you are done asking them, try asking those who have lost their homes to date, and the additional 4 million who will lose their homes over the next two years how worry-free everything is.

    I can guarantee you that this survey was taken by someone with a job and a home and his bills paid, who is so out of touch with reality that it is sickening !!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • And also knows which side of his bread has the butter on it. Who is his master? A big business.

        Big Business, as well as our (haha) “elected representatives” live in this fantasyland where they honestly believe the economy revolves around how we the sheeple perceive it to be. That is, if we peasants think times are good, then they will be good, but if we think it’s bad, then it does become bad. This is why a dear friend of mine, Dr. Ravi J. Bhutra, Prof Econ at Georgetown, was ostricized by his collegues for making the statement that “before the American consumer can be a consumer, HE MUST FIRST BE A WAGE-EARNER! Seems those good fellows all thought we could keep living off the appreciation on our houses forever…

  13. Just what one could expect to see on a site that is, like our Senators and House Reps… Dislocated from what is really going on in the real world. The fact that over all unemployment is still at a national 9.8 % should cause a lot more people to error on the side of caution.
    The double dip is coming and there isn’t anything that the government is going to be able to do about it, there is only so many working people that can be laid off before all companies can’t operate. The numbers dont make sense unless you are mixing real world mathematics with Economic mathematics, then I suppose you have a chance of selling your B.S. !
    The fact that the rich, the ones in power dont want to do what they know they must in order to fix things. The entire USA is being ripped appart by those the ones that we have elected to look our for us and to put ” We The People ” ahead of all matters. But that isn’t happening now is it?
    For the love of everything holy and full of bullshit ! The county needs to change, the development of the country was based on ideas of the time. What they the founding fathers of the country seen as an starting point was just that a star……ting point, going on 200 plus years of being a country, there are some things that need to be changed. I doubt if any of founding fathers would agree that things need to just stay the same. The ability to change on the fly and adapt is something that needs to happen through-out the entire country. There powers that be have been resposible for many actions that we now as a soceity find ourselves in. The people that have been out of work, no matter how long… Whether you have been unemployed for 30 weeks of 99, the fact of the matter is still the same. There is no hiring by companies, why should they, they are driving the people into the ground getting rid of people and only running on min staff. Business econ 101 … lower costs by all means posible, charge the same amount or more for items done….! Businesses have no reason to hire anyone, why when they are making more money with less labor…! The time is now that things are changed, and that everyone is taken care of. The United States needs to reinvent itself just like the 8 million of 99 ers that have been thrown under the bus, and forgoten about.

    • Oh, and let us not forget, that 9.8% figure is the OFFICIAL unemployment rate, and does not count those of us who would LOVE to find a job but have been “Over-Qualified” (read: too close to retirement age) for so long we are no longer getting unemployment. More shell games from Washington’s bean-counters to hide the ugly reality from we the sheeple…

      • Dear Sam,

        The government supplies several unemployment numbers, but the most common one cited in the press is the most restrictive definition, those receiving benefits.

        As the definition becomes less restrictive, the numbers become larger.

        The fact that a lot of people don’t understand that does not mean the numbers are wrong, it simply means that a lot of people, yourself included, never delved into the meaning of the number cited.

        However, inclusive of self-employed people who are not eligible for benefits, pople who have exhausted their benefits, etc., you are correct, that the “real number” of under- and un-employed is more like 15 – 20%.

      • That’s actually not the way the unemployed are counted. Anybody who is looking for work, whether or not they are collecting unemployment or eligible to do so, is counted in the official unemployment rate.

        • You are partially correct, as the % unemployed commonly cited in the media is the result of a survey and anybody actively looking but without a job is considered unemployed.

          I tend to read financial news oriented towards financial professionals, and the number of active claims being paid is considered more of a “hard” (accurate) number.

          Here is a number for you: the current trade deficit ($400 Billion annually) is only half what it peaked at a few years ago, but it is still 10 times what we are spending on unemployment benefits.

          If only people would stop buying low-quality foreign junk and buy much less, but higher quality products………

          Yes, there are good quality foreign products as well, but take a look at what Americans throw away….

          Try to find decent quality toys this Christmas…..

  14. The Dems are the problem. This country did not become #1 following a socialist model. We need to put Al Gores B.S. Global warming on the back burner and start manufacturing in the states again. The unions and their paid for Dem congressman/ senators ruin the economy for the rest of us, while they make damn sure they get theirs. We need to out produce the rest of the world right here in the USA. Start training some of our school children the trades. Not everyone is designed to be a “community originizer” or shyster lawyer. Dems always create problems, then lie about what really took place.
    Wake up, were running out of time.

    • And that makes the Dumbocrats different from the Repugnantcans how?

      Each party is nothing but a shell for our true masters: Corporate America.

  15. were i used to work an employee that had about25 yrs experience was let go, the way i saw it it was that he was already getting ssi, so the company did have to pay unemployment beneffits, and hired someone new at a lower wage and also got a tax deduction for hiring him gor a year.all i am seeing is hire one unemploy another, i dont see unemployment going down for a while, and erosion of wages to line the pockets of the corporations, at the expense of the workers, and all those numbers of emproving economie or stress levels are nonses until the unemployment goes down and the re-establishment of wages as they were 2 yrs ago

  16. This article is the biggest bunch of BS propaganda I have seen in some time…talk to the 99ers who are not going to get an extension of their unemployment benefits and everyone filing BK and look at the real estate signs on every block and tell me the stress levels are better. If you’re working, you’re doing the job of 2-3 people. Who is paying AP to put this sh..out?

  17. Figures don’t lie,but liers figure.Want to creat jobs is simple, tariff imports and don’t pay our tax money to companies to move to China and other child labor dictator countries.Treat China with ” fair”!!!! trade,we do them like you do us.

  18. Not much the average person can do about things.
    Just assume all people tell half truths and most outright lies.
    People in charge are the best at lies.

  19. Let me get this straight you are saying that this past October hit a 18 month low that means previous October was better than this last October and the previous five months before that was even better. This means things are getting worse not better and you are saying we should be happy about this???? Do you think the American public are idiots??? Some of us studied the Cold War propaganda tactics when they were taught in public schools and this sure looks familiar. I am sure Nikita, and Fidel would be proud if they read your article.

  20. While all of you are dishing out blame on others and feeling sorry for yourselves, please tell me who borrowed their futures to piss it all away in the present, and who bought all the junk the Chinese shipped to Wal-Mart, and who lied on their last mortgage application so they could buy a house they didn’t deserve based on education/employment/income criterion?????

    Half of the blogs I see come from people who don’t even understand spelling and grammar, nevermind economics.

    I have seen this coming my entire adult life, and prepared for it.

    Further, I assure you that things will not return to “the good old days”.

    America’s past prosperity developed in two primary time periods, each after a world war. The WWII in particular destroyed the human, financial and industrial capital of essentially every industrialized nation of the world except America.

    Yes, it was easy to prosper after that by supplying what was needed to rebuild.

    Things are returning to “normal” now, and on a global basis, “normal” is working hard to have enough to eat.

    “Normal” is not 3000 square foot houses and SUVs.

    It is going to get a lot worse.

      • “Special?”

        I have never been unemployed because I put myself through a good school, and when not employed by a company I was self-employed.

        I have never defaulted on a loan.

        I always lived below my income and invested for the future.

        I semi-retired at 55 and now manage some investments.

        And I am tired of people snivelling about current events and looking for others to blame.

        Half the world lives on $2 a day and half of them, a quarter of the world, lives on $1 a day or less.

        And the snivellers get a three year vacation collecting $400 a week, most of it at the expense of taxpayers like myself who had higher than average incomes of which the government took nearly half.

        I would not say “special”, but certainly in the minority.

        This diverges fom the main point, however, which is that prior to making good choices about what to do, people need to understand why things are trending the way they are.

        Now that capital and technology are more abundant and mobile than they were in the past, Americans can not compete with the over-abundace of labor resulting from the 6-fold increae in global population over the last 110 years and the advances in agriculture (machinery) that makes much of that labor unnecessary in the rice paddies.

        Looking forward, there will not be a shortage of labor compared to available capital again in our lifetimes that will push labor costs to the levels that have allowed the “broad-based” prosperity seen in America for the last 60 years.

        “Broad-based” was a polite way of saying that even the less “special” Americans were able to have incomes and life-styles enjoyed by a very few in the world over history.

        Now there are calls to alleviate the “hard times” of the “less special” by increasing taxes on the “rich”.

        The top 10% earners already pay 70% of all income taxes, and the bottom 50% in total pay nothing net when EIC (earned income credits)is included.

        The bottom half needs to stop snivelling and blaming others and start looking out for themselves.

        The “more special” are getting tired of taking care of themselves on the 50% of what they have after the government takes 50% to take care of the losers.

        And, as I wrote when I started, who closed most of the factories in America by buying Chinese made stuff at WalMart, and who caused the current economic crisis by buying houses they could not afford and probably lied to finance, and who is on welfare and unemployment because they spent every dime they could get to enjoy the present and saved nothing for the future, …………………

        It will get much worse, as the losers have no idea why things trend the way they do or what to do about it.

        Democracies fail when the losers and parasites become the majority.

        That is where America is now.

  21. When the recession started (the year before Bush left office) the U.S. was losing anywhere from approx. 100,000 to 400,000 jobs PER MONTH. Since the recession is over (HA!) we have been getting about 40,000 or whatever jobs BACK per month, if that. This article is total B.S.(along with the recession being over). The unemployed have officially been anointed INVISIBLE. I was watching the major news stations tonight to see if anything was said about the unemployed. They were more concerned about the football stadium in Minnesota that had it’s roof cave in than the economic situation (NO JOBS). God forbid that they won’t be able to use the stadium next weekend for another football game! Everyone that has a job doesn’t want to hear about the people that don’t have. Everyone smile really pretty and pretend that everything is o.k.

  22. The way to create jobs is for congress to pass tax legislation that companies can only qualify for all the tax incentives and tax breaks if at least 75% of their labor force is employed in this country. “American” businesses have proven over the past 20 years that they no longer care about anything except the bottom line.

    • Kathleen- I agree with you on principle, but last I heard, a corporation actually had to keep more like 90% of it’s employees/productivity here. The problem lies in that it is cheaper for them to forgo that tax break and off-shore the work/employment, then othewise (at least that’s how it was with my last major employer who eventually got hit with Trade Act certification). We need reform that makes it economically impossible to off-shore work, in lieu of the Fair Trade Agreements’ lack of political and economical bite.

  23. This article sounds like a lot of razzle dazzle to me. There is a lot of good stuff in the responses above. What I can discern from my own reading and experience is that our problems are not merely cyclical. The patient is seriously sick and just because his temperature has dropped half a degree doesn’t mean the infection and rot has been cleared out. We need to start by taking some of the money we keep giving to bankers all over the world, and begin using it for real infrastructure projects that will generate real production and real jobs. The next thing we need to do is pass a law that requires the members of Congress to live under the laws they pass, just like the rest of us have to. After that we need to start arresting and putting on trial some of these Wall Street geniuses/theives that caused most of this mess. Go see the movie “Inside Job”. It’s a mindblower. Merry Christmas.

  24. these people are full of crap , everywhere i go people need work.. whoever come up with this crap needs to be unemployed for there stupidty , sober up and get out of your bubble !!! the work-buzz is a joke and so is the person that was made to type this crap !!!!!

  25. USA Today reported on Dec 3rd “So far this year, payrolls have grown by an average 86,000 jobs a month, though private employers have added more than 100,000 monthly. Economists say the nation must add a net 150,000 to 200,000 jobs a month to bring down the unemployment rate”.

    The government manipulates the statistics to make people feel as good as possible so they will spend more and save less as everyone agrees that it is the consumer that drives the economy.

    All this borrowing and money printing to continue government growth and spending is only going to retard or prevent the recovery as taxes eventually increase to pay the national $14 trillion debt that is growing.

    It will be better to address the problem sooner rather than later. But that is something career politicians never do. In the 1970′s they were told about the social security system. Part of their solution was to underfund the border patrol leaving the borders open. (their unspoken idea had to do with adding more bodies to eventually help fund the SS system – plausible deniably). Now the illegal alien problem is costing the tax payer well over $40 Billion per year, depressing wages and adding to the unemployment problem.

    What the career politicians do not want to do, is face the fact that the only way to solve the problem is serious downsizing of government and spending.

    Their personal agendas get in the way. Reelection and growing political power. Cuts are always threatened in the form of services to the people as if that was the only solution. Cut teachers, firemen, policemen, health services, elderly services, child services, etc. Get the people to beg them to take more money.

    Real solutions must downsize the bureaucratic structure. Ideas put forth to do just that are attacked with such furry with their 10 second sound bites that deceives the people into thinking those ideas are ridiculous. Such as The Fair Tax, Privatization of Social Security, helping and encouraging people to get off social services instead of discouraging them. Actually encouraging them to stay on the dole. (Why take a job at $10 – $12 per hour when you get paid $412 per week to not work?) Like why not reduce government support by $1 for every $3-$4 dollars earned as one works their way off public assistance. Eventually they are making a living wage and are completely off public assistance. While that transition occurs, government spending on them is downsizing.

    Grow the Government. Downsize the People.
    Downsize the Government. Grow the People.

    Except for personal agendas this could be done.

    • Take a $10/hr job when you’re making $412 a week on unemployment? Well, do the math! $400/wk minus taxes & over-inflated health insurance cost (if you’re lucky enough for $10/hr job to even offer health insurance). Let’s see that would leave me approximately $290 a week if I’m lucky. Hmmmmmmmm….if I can’t pay all my bills on $412/week plus part-time retail job where I’m limited to amount I can earn weekly, how do you expect me to pay my bills? I’d love to find a job! But the $4/hr paycut (based on my previous full-time job) plus a part-time job isn’t going to make me any better off. I’m a single and over 50 with a bachelor’s degree. Shouldn’t I make a living wage so I can live? I’ve never made a lot of money and don’t live above my means but being under-employed at my age just isn’t right. Perhaps I should work 40 hours a week @ $10/hr and then work another 30-40 hours at 2 part-time jobs so I can keep a roof over my head so I can kill myself working all the time? That way I won’t have to collect SS when I each full retirement age of 70 and my children will be left without a mother and my grandsons without a grandmother? Awfully young to die from working myself to death!

  26. Have to laugh when I read these articles saying the economy is better. Sure it is!! That’s why gasoline prices are climbing along with heating oil followed by all other necessities because it costs more to get them to market. Ooops, I forgot food and energy prices don’t count as inflation so that means no wage increases for the little guys because their increases are tied to the inflation rate.

    So glad to see most of the jobs are farming, retail, and stockbroker. Let’s see, farming and retail jobs don’t pay much above minimum wage and stockbroker? Well, try having to be licensed to work in that industry. Manufacturing jobs? Really??? Where?? Three employers in my county announced last week they would be closed by the end of 1st quarter 2010. That means another 325 people on unemployment to join those of us competing for minimum wage jobs in this area.

    The reality of the situaion is in most areas the jobs being created are either entry-level jobs paying $10 per hour or minimum wage jobs. I’m sorry ….I don’t live high on the hog but I can’t survive on a $10/hr job. In fact, neither could my 18 year-old daughter support herself with a $10/hr job! Till you pay rent, utilities, put food on the table, pay for insurance if you’re lucky enough to have it and pay for maintenance medicines if you need them, you are in the hole each month. Not saying we all have to be making $100,000 per year but we do need to at least earn a “living wage”.

    Interesting best job opportunites are in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Vermont and New Hampshire? That’s really kinda funny when you consider the severity of winters in those states. No wonder they have jobs available. No one wants to move their because heating costs are so high no one can afford to live there. Oh sure, the cost of living is lower but so are the wages! However, the heating oil is not a bargain no matter where you are…

  27. Good News? How many more people have to commit suicide before these bankers stop blowing smoke our @$$’s and tell us everything is peaches?

    It will not be until we start ousting the Politian’s that live in a rich man’s world will we see help for 99% of Americans.

  28. Article quote: “Additionally, just more than one-third of those counties were considered economically stressed, down from 35 percent in September.”

    So… things are improving drastically since we’ve gone from 35% economically stressed to just more than 33%?

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  36. It has been a forgone conclusion that goods and services have stood the test of time fomr the worst economy to the best of times. In todays employment, jobs are mucb broader than trhey were back even 5 years ago. Your typical mechanic had the tookls and basic know how to do his or her job. No you have tohave a degree i computer science to change a spark plug, not to mention remembering hwere evrything went. As far as people being less stressed near the end, may have alot to do with the holidays, putting the stress of looking for a job on the back burner. But you can gaurentee that you will find the stress levels increase by 50% Un employment benefits will only go so far and the average check is 60% of the actual pay, there for they are having to cut up to 40% of there hose hold budget. So to say that people are less stressed may be true to some respect, its not the populous

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