Are those green shoots withering away?

Published: Jul 03, 2009

The number of jobs lost in June was 467,000 -- an amount that topped both the total for May and analysts' optimistic projections of 365,000. <p>June's results ended four straight months of steady erosion in the jobless figures. The job market had seemed poised for recovery -- between January and May, the monthly total dropped from 741,000 to 345,000 -- but now all the balls are back in the air. One slight positive: the overall unemployment rate crept up only 0.1%, to 9.5%. Cut now to a more alarming figure: 16.5%. That's a "truer" estimate of unemployment in America (known in governmental circles as U-6) that includes both "traditional" and "non-traditional" unemployment. (That latter category encompasses persons who want a job but have stopped actively searching for one, and those who are only working part-time because they that's all they can get.) John Silvia, the chief economist at Wachovia Corporation quoted by The New York Times, said he didn't forsee "any job growth outside of health, education and government spending through the end of the year."<p>Since December 2007, more than 6.5 million people have been separated from their workplaces. The country is now bursting with 14.7 million unemployees from all walks of life -- and almost 4.4 million of them have languished without a full-time salary for more than six months. <p><b><em>--Posted by Todd Obolsky, Vault Staff Writer</em></b>