The number of people in the U.S. out of work, 14.7 million June, continues to grow relentlessly in spite of government attempts to downplay the data. The continuing loss of jobs across broad sectors of the economy make it increasing unlikely that vehicle sales will rebound during the balance of this year or even early next year.
Already stressed automakers and their suppliers will likely be forced to cut back more, which makes further job losses predictable, as the economy continues to contract. It’s a viscous cycle we need to break.
Non-farm employment continued to fall in June, as another 467,000 taxpaying jobs were shed by employers, and the unemployment rate rose to 9.5%, a 26-year high, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some economists say the number is really 16.5%, if you include discouraged people who have not been able to find work and have dropped out of the job market. Either way, America’s ability to create wealth and prosperity is severely restricted.
Since the Great Recession officially began in December 2007, employment has dropped by 7.2 million workers, and the unemployment rate has increased by 4.6%. Roughly one-third of the unemployed have now been jobless for longer than 27 weeks.
There is no doubt that the U.S. is in the deepest recession since World War II, and the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, if you consider our capital and housing markets.
As people associated with auto manufacturing are all too well aware, job losses continue to mount at frightening rates. In June, once again, there were large decreases in manufacturing, construction, and professional and business services. Together, these three sectors have accounted for nearly three-quarters of the jobs lost since the recession began.
In his weekly radio address on Saturday, President Barack Obama said “We are facing an array of challenges on a scale unseen in our time. We are waging two wars. We are battling a deep recession. And our economy – and our nation itself – are endangered by festering problems we have kicked down the road for far too long: spiraling health care costs; inadequate schools; and a dependence on foreign oil.”