The unemployment level is a key indicator of economic activity. High unemployment levels usually signal an economy that at best is stagnating or experiencing a reduction in economic growth at its worst. It represents the waste of a valuable resource with the effect of a huge wave crashing through a vulnerable society leaving economic and emotional destruction in its wake. It may adversely affect everything from consumers’ purchasing habits, new technology, and business growth to crime rates, public services, emotional depression, and an overall skepticism concerning society’s leadership, both in business and government.
The years 2008 and 2009 in the U.S. will be especially memorable because of the skyrocketing unemployment rates caused in part by financial meltdowns in the real estate and stock markets. The percent of people unemployed in the U.S. workforce as of July 2009 was 9.4% (compare that to 5.5% in 2004). To put this in perspective, there was an average of 645,000 workers laid off PER MONTH from November of ’08 through April of ’09. The effects of these massive layoffs will be felt for years to come.
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WHY IS THE ABILITY TO MEASURE THE AMOUNT OF UNEMPLOYMENT SO IMPORTANT?
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