Story Update: Jobless in Seattle… from New York to Cali

March 16, 2010

From the West Coast to the East Coast, new and old employees are struggling to find and keep jobs in troubled economic times. The unemployment rate has remained unwavering over the heads of Americans who watch it like a heavy boulder ready to fall. In the time after October 2009’s unemployment rate hit the double digits at 10.10 percent, there has only been a slight improvement in numbers. The current statistic at 9.7 percent accounts for 14.9 million people without work, which has remained unchanged from January 2010. The number has been a sort of litmus test that people have dip to test the waters of the U.S. job market. It has historically coincided with the gross domestic product as well as the overall economic growth of the nation.

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2010 9.70 9.70
2009 7.70 8.20 8.60 8.90 9.40 9.50 9.40 9.70 9.80 10.10 10.00 10.00
2008 5.00 4.80 5.10 5.00 5.40 5.50 5.80 6.10 6.20 6.60 6.90 7.40
2007 4.60 4.50 4.40 4.50 4.40 4.60 4.60 4.60 4.70 4.70 4.70 5.00
Source: http://www.tradingeconomics.com[with statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics]

This year’s graduating class of colleges and universities across the nation will be the second group to tackle the job market on the offensive since 2008 when the consequences of risky deals and surge of subprime mortgages on Wall Street came to fruition. In order, like a stack of falling dominoes, the plunge of the hedge funds of Bear Sterns caused its Wall Street lenders such as Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs to tumble with the effects of lost assets. This was the first stack to fall. Then came the bank failures with IndyMac leading the way for the U.S. government to swoop down to save mortgage lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, American International Group (A.I.G.), and approve of mergers of banking giants.

That was only the beginning. In October 2008, the stock market crumbled, dropping 40.3 percent, becoming the worst week for the stock market over 75 years. When stock markets suffer, the national employment rate is in the same boat. As companies and employers lose money in investment, downsizing is necessary, costing people jobs.

The stock market and financial situation has begun to heal, according to financial analysts–including Chicago Tribune’s Gail MarksJarvis. The columnist cites Standard & Poor’s 500 index–gauges the U.S. equities market with reports from 500 of the country’s leading companies–at a current rise. As of March 15, the index is at a healthy 1,150.51. Look at the five-year span of performance and the huge dip in 2008: <http://money.cnn.com/data/markets/sandp/

-This is the starting lay out of my story on the current job market

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