It's no secret that America's recession is deepening. Paul Krugman painted a grim picture
in his must-read op-ed on Friday. He noted retail sales and
industrial production are tanking and the Philadelphia Fed’s
manufacturing index is dropping quicker than at any time in ...
It's no secret that America's recession is deepening. Paul Krugman painted a grim picture in his must-read op-ed on Friday. He noted retail sales and industrial production are tanking and the Philadelphia Fed’s manufacturing index is dropping quicker than at any time in two decades. "All signs," he wrote, "point to an economic slump that will be nasty, brutish — and long." The unemployment stats he highlighted are equally startling:
How nasty? The unemployment rate is already above 6 percent (and broader measures of underemployment are in double digits). It’s now virtually certain that the unemployment rate will go above 7 percent, and quite possibly above 8 percent, making this the worst recession in a quarter-century.
According to the Economic Policy Institute's Nooshin Mahalia, the situation is even worse than these figures indicate. Our underemployment rate, a more comprehensive measure that includes part-time workers who want full-time jobs and jobless workers who want a job but are not actively seeking employment, is at its highest in 14 years:
At 11%, the underemployment rate in September was at its highest in more than 14 years. The underemployed currently includes about 9.5 million unemployed workers, 6.1 million involuntarily part-time workers, and 1.6 million workers only marginally attached to the workforce. The fact that one out of every nine U.S. workers is now either unemployed or underemployed is clear evidence of the need for a second stimulus package targeted at job creation.
We emailed Mahalia to see if she had any data on Illinois specifically and she provided us with this snapshot. Although state data is not available monthly -- therefore the most recent underemployment figures were calculated at the end of 2007 -- Illinois has consistently rated on par with the U.S. annual average since President Bush took office. In 2007, for example, Illinois' underemployment rate sat at 8.6 percent, 0.3 percent higher than the national average. As such, we can expect the state's 2008 numbers to jump considerably. The rest of the data is available below:
Think now might be good time for that second stimulus package?