Despite all the happy talk that there are signs that the economy is improving, or at least bottoming out, there is little hope that the unemployment rate will improve anytime soon.
Job losses accelerated last month to 467,000, “an unexpectedly large amount.”
The unemployment rate rose to 9.5%, the highest level since August 1983.
According to the Associated Press, unemployment is actually much worse:
If laid-off workers who have given up looking for new jobs or have settled for part-time work are included, the unemployment rate would have been 16.5 percent in June, the highest on records dating to 1994.
Even before the June unemployment numbers were announced, the Los Angeles Times reported many of the jobs are gone forever.
Also, instead of shrinking operations, companies have shut down whole business units or made sweeping structural changes: General Motors Corp. and Chrysler, for example, closed hundreds of dealerships. Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. cut tens of thousands of positions.
It didn’t have to be like this. Obama’s $787-billion so-stimulus plan should have been more about creating jobs, rather than a vehicle to fund “every liberal, entitlement cause under the sun.”
As James Pethokoukis wrote, Obama’s stimulus boondoggle was a ruse. Some two-thirds of the Obama stimulus is not intended to be spent until after 2009. Obviously, immediate “stimulus” was not the primary intent of Obama’s stimulus. If it had been, the plan would have been front-loaded. The main goal of the Obama stimulus was to make a down payment on Obama’s health care, energy and education agenda.
Maybe now that even Obama admits unemployment will break 10 percent, the Obama stimulus ruse will be seen for the great deception it was.