Monday, November 09, 2009

Unemployment

Unless you work for the federal government (not including the Postal Service), you need to have a plan for what you will do should you go to work one day only to be told you have been eliminated.
The "official" unemployment number just topped 10%. But that's the government's massaged, spun, happy-face number, also known as U-3.
The government's skeleton in the closet number, the broadest measure of unemployment, is U-6, and is over 17%.
That's not the end of it, because even U-6 is somewhat "messaged." It's not the raw number.

The raw number is 22.1%. (shadowstats.com) Finally, a number that actually represents what all of us are feeling.

Roughly one out of five people are out of work. You really need to have a plan. You need to have an idea of how your finances will play out in the first three months of unemployment. If you don't like the picture you see, do something to change it if you can, like saving or paying off debt- if you are not already living paycheck to paycheck like me. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, maybe you can put back your upcoming tax return for a rainy day, or use it to get rid of a monthly payment.

The markets are paying only a little attention to the situation; they have placed their faith in government numbers and stimulus. Same with the media; they trot out the government line too. It keeps people optimistic for now, but reality will catch up with everyone sooner or later.

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