Today’s announcement of 7.2% unemployment is remarkable in a bad context. Yet, I do appreciate the AP writer’s opening sentence (my color):
The nation’s unemployment rate bolted to 7.2 percent in December, the highest level in 16 years, as nervous employers slashed 524,000 jobs.
Dramatic, wouldn’t you say? Look, it is bad and most people realize that fact, but this type of fear-mongering is over the top. How about the third graph:
For all of 2008, the economy lost a net total of 2.6 million jobs. That was the most since 1945, when nearly 2.8 million jobs were lost.
That was the first half; here is the second half (can’t put my crayon down):
Although the number of jobs in the U.S. has more than tripled since then, losses of this magnitude are still being painfully felt.
The total number of jobs as more than tripled which changes the context of the numbers drastically. An unbiased editor would delete the presentation of the statistics because the context is willfully deceiving.
Nonetheless, the economy will roll on and it will rebound. It is cyclical which is a point lost on the media. My approach to these times is to hunt down pockets of opportunity whether you are a jobseeker or a salesperson.
There are industries that are relatively strong in this down economy. Government is obviously spending money, aerospace, healthcare and others are the “strongest of the weak” right now.
The key for the short-term is to find openings in these industries and ride them out. The best guess is that the economy will start to come out of its funk in June of this year. Unfortunately, hiring is a lagging indicator so it will take longer for that area to rebound. We must press on so don’t let emotionally-written articles get you down.