If you could stay home and relax all day and actually make more money than you do at your current job, would you do it? That sounds crazy, but this is actually a very real dilemma for millions upon millions of Americans. According to a shocking new study that was just released by the Cato Institute, people on welfare are actually better off than minimum wage workers in 35 U.S. states. And in 13 states, those on welfare actually do better than those making $15 an hour. So why bother? It is very difficult to find a job in this economy, especially a good one. As I mentioned yesterday, seven out of every eight jobs that have been “created” since Barack Obama has been president have been part-time jobs. Why slave away flipping burgers, stocking shelves for some retail giant or working for some temp agency when you could just sit home and make more money collecting government checks? Yes, there is definitely a minority of Americans that hate the idea of becoming dependent on the government and would never want to take advantage of the system like that, but that minority seems to be shrinking. At this point, about half the country gets money from the government each month anyway, so why not collect “your share”? If someone is offering to give you something for free, it is only human nature to be at least a little bit tempted. And right now the federal government is making it extremely tempting to give up on work entirely and become a permanent welfare check collector.
Before people start getting really upset, let me once again reiterate that most of the people that are receiving financial assistance from the government actually need it. Not everyone is abusing the system, and not everyone is using their food stamps to buy lobster.
But what we have today is a situation where there is a huge incentive in many states to actually give up on work entirely and become a dependent of the state instead.
According to the Cato Institute, someone in the state of New York that goes on welfare can bring home more in money and benefits than an entry-level school teacher makes in an entire year…
The federal government funds 126 separate programs targeted towards low-income people, 72 of which provide either cash or in-kind benefits to individuals. (The rest fund community-wide programs for low-income neighborhoods, with no direct benefits to individuals.) State and local governments operate more welfare programs. Of course, no individual or family gets benefits from all 72 programs, but many do get aid from a number of them at any point in time.
Today, the Cato institute is releasing a new study looking at the state-by-state value of welfare for a mother with two children. In the Empire State, a family receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, food stamps, WIC, public housing, utility assistance and free commodities (like milk and cheese) would have a package of benefits worth $38,004, the seventh-highest in the nation.
While that might not sound overly generous, remember that welfare benefits aren’t taxed, while wages are. So someone in New York would have to earn more than $21 per hour to be better off than they would be on welfare. That’s more than the average statewide entry-level salary for a teacher.
If you are going to live off of welfare, the key is to pick the right state. Not all states offer the same level of benefits.
In some states, you have to make far more than the minimum wage before it pays not to be on welfare. In fact, there are 12 different states where you actually have to make more than $15 an hour before you start doing better than welfare recipients…
Nationwide, our study found that the wage-equivalent value of benefits for a mother and two children ranged from a high of $60,590 in Hawaii to a low of $11,150 in Idaho. In 33 states and the District of Columbia, welfare pays more than an $8-an-hour job. In 12 states and DC, the welfare package is more generous than a $15-an-hour job.
Of course not all welfare recipients take advantage of all of the programs that they are eligible for. But if you do know how to work the system, you can live very comfortably at the expense of the government in many states.
So what is the solution?
Well, it would be great if we had enough jobs for everyone, but that is definitely not the case. In fact, the U.S. economy is probably going to continue to lose good jobs in the years ahead if current trends continue.
If you want to get an idea of where we are headed, just look at Detroit. Once upon a time, Detroit actually had the highest per capita income in the entire country. But now it is a rotting, festering, bankrupt hellhole where tens of thousands of stray dogs freely roam the streets…
As many as 50,000 stray dogs roam the streets and vacant homes of bankrupt Detroit, replacing residents, menacing humans who remain and overwhelming the city’s ability to find them homes or peaceful deaths.
One Humane Society official that recently visited the city to help deal with the dog crisis described what she witnessed as “almost post-apocalyptic“…
The number of strays signals a humanitarian crisis, said Amanda Arrington of the Humane Society of the United States, based in Washington. She heads a program that donated $50,000 each to organizations in Detroit and nine other U.S cities to get pets vaccinated, fed, spayed and neutered.
Arrington said when she visited Detroit in October, “It was almost post-apocalyptic, where there are no businesses, nothing except people in houses and dogs running around.”
“The suffering of animals goes hand in hand with the suffering of people.”
But don’t laugh at Detroit.
The rest of the country is going down the exact same path.
Just recently, Charles Nenner told Newsmax TV that another recession is rapidly approaching that that it is “going to be bad”…
Technical analyst Charles Nenner didn’t mince words when asked about the United States facing another recession.
“It’s going to be bad,” Nenner told Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview.
And it looks like the folks in Washington are getting very concerned about all of the economic warnings signs that we have been seeing as well.
Just this week, Barack Obama “held a special, closed door meeting with the heads of the U.S. government’s financial, monetary and oversight agencies. It included members of the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, the CFTC, the SEC, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency.”
So why did Obama gather all of the top financial officials for a secret closed door meeting?
John Embry told King World News that he thinks it is because the administration is deeply alarmed about what is happening in the financial markets…
I firmly believe the reason the President has called this meeting today is because if interest rates in the U.S. continue to rise, it could really unleash something disastrous. We are talking here about the possibility of a meltdown. It’s interesting that the President would call in that many big hitters, the head of every significant financial agency in the United States, as well as the Fed and the Comptroller of the Currency, etc — this is a very large meeting today.
I’ve always believed that the global financial crisis of 2008 was just the opener. We have now bought the better part of 5 years now through unlimited money creation. But as we head into this next massive, and what I believe will be a larger round of destabilization, I want KWN readers around the world to understand that the central planners don’t have the same weapons to fight this global financial crisis. This is why I believe they are desperately attempting right now, today in this meeting, to stave off this crisis.
Trying to find a job in America today can be an incredibly frustrating experience. Most of the jobs that are available seem to pay very little, and there is intense competition for just about any job that is open. But it wasn’t always like this. When I was in high school, I was immediately hired when I applied for a job at McDonalds because they were so desperate for workers that they would hire just about anyone that could flip a burger. But in this economic environment, a single nationwide hiring event conducted by McDonalds resulted in a million job applications, and only a small percentage of those applicants were actually hired. Our economy simply does not produce enough jobs for everyone anymore, and the percentage of “good jobs” continues to decline. That means that it is getting really hard to find a job that will enable you to support a family, and a lot of people end up doing jobs that they are massively overqualified for. But when times are tough, people are going to do what they have to do in order to survive.
One thing that we have seen in recent years is an explosion in the number of “temp workers” in America. Even some of the largest companies in America are using them. They like the flexibility of being able to bring in workers when they need them and of being able to dump them the moment they don’t need them anymore. Sadly, those that work in the “temp industry” often work in deplorable conditions for very little pay. The following is a brief excerpt from an absolutely outstanding Pro Publica article…
In cities all across the country, workers stand on street corners, line up in alleys or wait in a neon-lit beauty salon for rickety vans to whisk them off to warehouses miles away. Some vans are so packed that to get to work, people must squat on milk crates, sit on the laps of passengers they do not know or sometimes lie on the floor, the other workers’ feet on top of them.
This is not Mexico. It is not Guatemala or Honduras. This is Chicago, New Jersey, Boston.
The people here are not day laborers looking for an odd job from a passing contractor. They are regular employees of temp agencies working in the supply chain of many of America’s largest companies – Walmart, Macy’s, Nike, Frito-Lay. They make our frozen pizzas, sort the recycling from our trash, cut our vegetables and clean our imported fish. They unload clothing and toys made overseas and pack them to fill our store shelves. They are as important to the global economy as shipping containers and Asian garment workers.
Many get by on minimum wage, renting rooms in rundown houses, eating dinners of beans and potatoes, and surviving on food banks and taxpayer-funded health care. They almost never get benefits and have little opportunity for advancement.
But these are the types of jobs the U.S. economy is “creating” these days. Low paying part-time jobs are continually becoming a bigger part of the economy. This is one of the primary reasons why the middle class in America is shrinking.
You can’t support a family on what most of these part-time jobs pay. But our economy is not producing many high quality full-time jobs these days. The average quality of American jobs just continues to sink.
The following are 15 signs that the quality of jobs in America is going downhill really fast…
#1 The number of part-time workers in the United States has just hit a brand new all-time high, but the number of full-time workers is still nearly 6 million below the old record that was set back in 2007.
#2 In America today, only 47 percent of adults have a full-time job.
#3 Even though the U.S. economy created nearly 200,000 jobs in June, the number of full-time jobs actually decreased.
#4 There are now 2.7 million temp workers in the United States – a new all-time high.
#10 High paying manufacturing jobs continue to be shipped overseas. Sadly, there are fewer Americans employed in manufacturing now than there was in 1950 even though the population of the country has more than doubled since then.
#11 Today, the United States actually has a higher percentage of workers doing low wage work than any other major industrialized nation does.
#12 The U.S. economy continues to trade good paying jobs for low paying jobs. 60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.
#13 Back in 1980, less than 30% of all jobs in the United States were low income jobs. Today, more than 40% of all jobs in the United States are low income jobs.
#14 At this point, an astounding 53 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.
#15 According to a study that was released by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, only 24.6 percent of all jobs in the United States qualify as “good jobs” at this point. In a previous article, I detailed the three criteria that they used to define what a “good job” is….
#1 The job must pay at least $18.50 an hour. According to the authors, that is the equivalent of the median hourly pay for American workers back in 1979 after you adjust for inflation.
#2 The job must provide access to employer-sponsored health insurance, and the employer must pay at least some portion of the cost of that insurance.
#3 The job must provide access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan.
All of this is absolutely heartbreaking.
Once upon a time, just about any adult that was willing to work hard in America could go out and find a good paying job that would support a middle class lifestyle.
Now those days are gone forever.
But different conditions exist in different parts of the country.
What are you seeing in your area?
Are good jobs difficult to find?
Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…
It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Unfortunately, millions of Americans find themselves slowly going insane as they apply for hundreds upon hundreds of jobs and yet never get hired. It is incredibly difficult to get a good job in most areas of the United States today. So if you are unemployed, and there are no jobs in your area, should you hire a long distance moving company and move somewhere else in an attempt to find work? That is a very hard question. Of course if what you are currently doing right now is not working it is only natural to want to change course, but sadly unemployment is absolutely rampant all over the United States. Today, the “official” unemployment rate is hovering around 9 percent, but the true employment picture is much bleaker than that. There are millions and millions of unemployed Americans that are so discouraged and have given up looking for a job for so long that the U.S. government does not even consider them “part of the labor force” any longer. If they were included in the “official” figure, the true unemployment rate would be well into double figures. In addition, there are millions upon millions of Americans that are working part-time jobs or very low paying jobs because that is all they can get. Those millions of “underemployed” Americans would jump at the chance to get a “good job” if that opportunity was available. Low income jobs now make up 41% of all the jobs in the United States. So there are a lot of people that have a job that really wish that they were making a lot more money. Because of the lack of good jobs, millions of American families have been pushed to the edge of economic desperation and millions of American families are drowning in debt. So what do you do if there are no good jobs in your area? Do you sit tight or do move to a new location hoping for something better?
On the negative side, it can be extremely expensive to move. Not only will you have moving expenses, but you will also have to find a new place to live, set up new utilities, change your insurance policies, register your vehicles in a new area, etc. etc.
Moving somewhere new almost always costs more money than you think that it will.
Then, once you get to a new location, often you don’t have the same “connections” that you did in the place where you used to live.
And in today’s economy, having “connections” is one of the only ways that you can get a good job.
On the flip side, there are actually a few areas of the United States where the unemployment rate is low right now and where there do seem to be some good jobs available.
When people ask me where to look for a job, I tell them to check out North and South Dakota. It is cold as the dickens up there, but if you can handle the cold you just might be able to find work.
However, it is extremely risky to move somewhere new without having a job first. Most people that have been through that “adventure” know what I am talking about.
But sometimes in life you have to take a risk. Today there are over 47 million Americans that are living in poverty, and that number is increasing every single month. Sitting on your couch and doing nothing is not going to get you where you need to be.
Rather than just sit there and sink even deeper into desperation, an increasing number of Americans are deciding to make a move. There are some areas of the United States that have become absolute hellholes. After years of experiencing intense economic frustration in those hellholes, many Americans are picking up stakes and are heading for greener pastures.
For example, the following video report from RT describes how large numbers of people are now abandoning Riverside, California….
Sadly, very few jobs are truly safe anymore.
Years ago, I would tell people to look into government jobs because they were relatively more secure. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.
Today, state and local government debt has reached at an all-time high of 22 percent of U.S. GDP. State and local governments from coast to coast are implementing austerity programs and are laying off employees at a staggering pace.
The following is a chart from the Federal Reserve of local government hiring over the past five years. Obviously, the trend is not heading in a positive direction….
Most Americans don’t realize just how nightmarish the financial problems of many of our state and local governments are right now.
For example, the state of California is basically a financial basket case at this point. In a recent article I discussed the cold, hard reality that California is broke and I explained some of the reasons why millions of people have already left the state….
Back in the 1960s and 1970s, there was a seemingly endless parade of pop songs about how great life was in California, and millions of young Americans dreamed of moving to the land of sandy beaches and golden sunshine. But now all of that has changed. Today, millions of Californians are dreaming about leaving the state for good. The truth is that California is broke. The economy of the state is in shambles. The official unemployment rate has been sitting above 12 percent for an extended period of time, and poverty is everywhere. For many Californians today, there are very few reasons to stay in the state but a whole lot of reasons to leave: falling housing prices, rising crime, budget cuts, rampant illegal immigration, horrific traffic, some of the most brutal tax rates in the nation, increasing gang violence and the ever present threat of wildfires, mudslides and natural disasters. The truth is that it is easy to understand why there are now more Americans moving out of California each year than there are Americans moving into the state. California has become a complete and total disaster zone in more ways than one, and an increasing number of Californians are deciding that enough is enough and they are getting out for good.
On the “Survive And Thrive TV” channel on YouTube, one Californian that was in the process of moving to a different state was recently interviewed as he was preparing to leave. The following interview shows the mindset of many that are leaving California. It also contains just a bit of strong language, so if you are sensitive to that you may want to not watch this video….
Other desperate Americans are taking a different approach. Instead of moving to a new area, these Americans are coming up with “creative” ways of raising cash.
For example, a criminal gang of white middle-aged women in Detroit nicknamed the “Mad Hatters” has become so successful that they have made international news. It is alleged that they have pulled off a stunning series of robberies.
Do you want to know how to find a job in America today? It’s easy. Just be willing to flip burgers, wait tables or welcome people to Wal-Mart. You must also be willing to work for close to minimum wage with no health benefits. It’s not that complicated. On April 19th, McDonald’s is going to be holding its first “national hiring day” and it will be attempting to fill 50,000 positions. Hundreds of thousands of applicants are expected, so if you are going to apply be ready for some stiff competition. McDonald’s held a similar event last year in its western region and 60,000 people applied for just 13,000 jobs. But if you are one of the lucky ones, you too may soon be flipping burgers for minimum wage. Who said that finding a job was hard and that the U.S. economy doesn’t work anymore? All of us just need to be “flexible” and we all need to be willing to adapt to the “new economic reality”.
Oh, you say that you can’t pay the mortgage and feed your family on what they would pay you at McDonald’s?
You say that you are looking for a “good job”?
Well, that is just too bad.
Good jobs are becoming increasingly scarce. In fact, there are 10% fewer “middle class jobs” in the United States today than there were a decade ago.
The competition for the few “middle class jobs” that are still available has become so intense that you might not want to steer clear. You just can’t afford to be too picky in today’s world.
After all, you don’t want to become one of those poor saps that is unemployed month after month after month. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average length of unemployment in the U.S. is now an all-time record 39 weeks.
Can you really afford to be out of work for almost a year?
Why not go after the “low hanging fruit”? For a position at McDonald’s or Wal-Mart you will probably only be competing against four or five other people for each job opening. Those odds aren’t that bad.
Things were not always like this in America, you say?
Once upon a time there were actually lots and lots of great jobs?
Well, this is part of the sacrifice that we must make for the emerging global economy. We must allow thousands of our factories to close and millions of our good paying jobs to be shipped overseas. Our politicians have all promised us that globalism will be incredibly good for us in the long run.
So don’t be alarmed when naysayers warn that the United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobsper month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
Yes, American workers now must directly compete for jobs with millions of people willing to work for slave labor wages on the other side of the globe. But eventually their wages will come up slightly and our wages will go way down to their level and at that point we will all have equality.
You aren’t against “equality” are you?
Who could be against equality?
This is what globalism is all about – tearing down all the borders and gathering us all into one big, happy “global family”. Right now too many of the good jobs are in America so millions of them have to be shipped out of the country. Also, millions of legal and illegal immigrants must be allowed into the U.S. so that they can compete for American jobs as well.
But won’t that drive wages down?
Of course, but in the end the “global community” will benefit.
What did you think? Did you actually believe that the United States would be able to have a thriving middle class forever?
In the new “global economy“, the wealthy get to exploit slave labor on the other side of the world thus wiping out the American middle class.
Already we are seeing signs of an “economic recovery” with the ultra-rich leading the way. According to Moody’s Analytics, the wealthiest 5% of households in the United States now account for approximately 37% of all consumer spending.
That is some “change” that Wall Street can believe in!
But what about the rest of us?
All kidding aside, it is absolutely brutal out there right now.
American families just want jobs that will enable them to pay their mortgages, put food on the table and provide a decent standard of living for their families.
Unfortunately, those jobs are disappearing and they are being replaced by low paying service jobs.
According to a recent report from the National Employment Law Project, higher wage industries accounted for 40 percent of the job losses over the past 12 months but only 14 percent of the job growth. Lower wage industries accounted for just 23 percent of the job losses over the past 12 months and a whopping 49 percent of the job growth.
So yes, it has become extremely difficult to find a job that pays a decent wage.
In fact, half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.
Could your family survive on $505 a week?
One reader recently left a comment that detailed how this economy has left her without a job, without a home and feeling depressed….
Yup, Im depressed. If I would have known what the WTO protests were about here in Seattle in the 90s, I would have joined in. I knew a lot of folks were very angry, but I wasn’t sure why. I was a busy working mother of a toddler. Now fast forward 10+ years and I haven’t worked in 2 and a half years and only 4 job interviews in that time and 0 job offers. we are going to get paid by Chase to give them our home (gee thanks!) so we can move out… OK now what? things aren’t looking too good. I started a very small business that no where near comes even close to supporting us. So were going to stay in my brother’s house in Texas. and then? who knows. at least I don’t feel alone. there are millions of stories just like mine.
Sadly, there are millions more stories just like this. The U.S. economy has fundamentally changed and it simply does not work like it used to.
Millions of American families are experiencing severe economic pain right now, and millions more will be experiencing it very soon.
In a previous article entitled, “Where Are The Jobs?“, I explained why things are changing for American workers….
Most Americans don’t really care about the economic minutiae that many of us who study the U.S. economy love to pour over. When it comes to the economy, the typical American citizen just wants to be able to get a good job, make a decent living and put bread on the table for the family. For generations, this arrangement has worked out quite well. The U.S. economy has provided large numbers of middle class jobs and the American people have worked hard and have helped this nation prosper like no other. But now people are starting to notice that something has shifted. Millions of people are looking around and are realizing that the jobs that are supposed to be there are not there anymore. The American people are still working hard (and in many cases harder than ever) but all of that hard work is producing fewer and fewer rewards. Often politicians will placate voters by telling them that they are working harder and harder for less and less. That tends to ring true with voters because that is a very accurate description of what so many of them are actually experiencing, but what the politicians don’t tell us is that they are the ones to blame for the situation that we are in. As millions of jobs become obsolete because of technology and millions of other jobs are shipped overseas, our politicians tell us over and over that we can “compete” with anyone and that if we will just go out and get some more education we can make it happen. But those of us who are extremely over-educated know what a fraud that line is. The truth is that there are not nearly enough jobs for all of us no matter how “educated” we are. This is creating a lot of anger and frustration, and now even the IMF is warning that we could see “an explosion of social unrest” if high unemployment persists.
Unfortunately, most of our politicians do not have any answers. Bill Clinton greatly accelerated the shipping of our jobs overseas. George W. Bush was a complete and total disaster when it came to the economy. Barack Obama has been continuing most of the economic policies of those that came before him.
Unless we make some fundamental changes, millions of jobs will continue to be lost, the U.S. industrial base will continue to be dismantled, we will continue to go into astounding amounts of debt as a nation and more American families will slip into poverty every single day.
But waiting for Washington D.C. to change is kind of like waiting for hell to freeze over. The Federal Reserve is not going to help us either. In fact, the Fed is at the very heart of our economic problems.
No, the truth is that the U.S. economy is going to continue to go downhill. All of us need to try to become less dependent on the system, because when it collapses it is going to devastate the lives of tens of millions of American families.
The U.S. government is telling us that the unemployment rate fell all the way down to 9.0% in January. Should we all cheer? Is it now going to be a lot easier to find a job? Has the economy finally turned around? Are happy days here again? Well, it is a good thing to have a positive attitude, but the truth is that there is just not much to cheer about when you take a closer look at the recent unemployment numbers. First of all, the U.S. economy only added 36,000 jobs in January. Economists had been expecting an increase of about 145,000 jobs, and an increase of 150,000 jobs per month is necessary just to keep up with population growth. So why did the unemployment rate go down? Well, the government says that over half a million Americans suddenly dropped out of the labor force in January. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, but this is how the government calculates their numbers. So what happened to those 500,000 Americans? Did they all win the lottery? Have they all become independently wealthy? Did they all die? No, the vast majority of them are still around and the vast majority of them still desperately need jobs. It is just that the government does not count them as “looking for work” anymore.
It would be great if the employment situation in America actually was getting better. All the time people send me absolutely heartbreaking stories about what they have had to endure in this economy. Soon I hope to share some of those stories with you all. It is hard to try to describe the absolute horror that many Americans are going through right now.
People would like to believe that things are going to get better, but unfortunately that is just not going to be the case. The government can try to massage the numbers to make them look better, but the truth is that the tens of millions of American families that are deeply suffering right now are not fooled.
The following are 10 statistics that reveal that the latest unemployment numbers from the government are no reason to cheer….
#1According to CNBC, economists were expecting the U.S. economy to add 145,000 jobs during January. Obviously the 36,000 figure was a huge disappointment.
#2 Approximately 150,000 jobs need to be added to the economy each month just to keep up with population growth.
#3 The government jobs report also indicated that 504,000 Americans “dropped out of the labor force” in January. That may make the unemployment numbers look better, but the truth is that the vast majority of those 500,000 Americans still need incomes and still need jobs.
#4 According to the latest numbers from Gallup, the unemployment rate actually increased to 9.8% at the end of January.
#5 Gallup’s measure of “underemployment” (those that are unemployed plus those that are working part-time but want full-time employment) was sitting at 18.9% at the end of January.
#6 As I reported yesterday, there are approximately 28 million Americans that would like full-time jobs but that don’t have full-time jobs.
#8According to Calculated Risk, this is the deepest and most brutal employment downturn that the United States has experienced since World War II. The current employment downturn started 37 months ago and there doesn’t seem to be any indication that we will return to pre-recession levels any time soon.
#9 The U.S. Labor Department has also announced that job growth during 2010 was much weaker than they had previously reported. The numbers for 8 months were revised down, and the numbers for 4 months were revised up. After all of the revisions are accounted for, it turns out that a total of 215,000 fewer jobs were created during 2010 than originally calculated.
The situation is not pretty out there. The U.S. needs tens of millions more jobs than we have right now.
So where are all of our jobs going? The video posted below contains some very strong hints. The truth is that globalism is ripping our economic infrastructure apart, and all of the crazy rules and regulations we keep heaping on business are not helping either….
U.S. workers have been merged into a “global labor pool” where we are expected to directly compete for jobs with people making slave labor wages on the other side of the globe.
The more time you spend thinking about that, the more you start realizing that the standard of living of average American families is going to continue to decline.
Unfortunately, as I wrote about in a recent article entitled “Nothing Is Stable Anymore“, the world is changing faster today than at any other time during our lifetimes. Everything that we used to assume about employment, money, our economy and our finances is being turned upside down. We now live in a world where very little can be taken for granted.
2011 has already been a very tumultuous year. The world is being transformed. Nobody knows for sure what is going to happen next.
One thing to really keep an eye on is the price of oil. Right now, large numbers of investors are betting that the price of oil will rise to $125 a barrel by May. Shockingly, some investors are even betting that the price of oil will rise to $250 a barrel by next December.
If oil starts to spike dramatically, it will have tremendous implications for the U.S. economy. Our entire economic system runs on oil. The price of oil affects the price of everything else.
If the price of oil keeps going up it is inevitably going to cause a slowdown in the U.S. economy and it will cause the unemployment situation to get even worse.
So be glad that the employment situation is at least somewhat stable for now, because if things take a bad turn for the worse in 2011 who knows what kind of unemployment numbers we’ll be talking about a year from now.