The latest news on unemployment paints a grim picture. The Labor Department reported Friday that the unemployment rate jumped to 7.2 percent in December. That's the highest its been in 16 years!
The numbers also show 2.6 million jobs were slashed last year--that's the most since World War II. But what exactly do these numbers mean?
I read an article Friday written by Ellen Simon of the Associated Press, that shed some light on the unemployment rate.
Simon writes, "The 7.2 figure measures something very specific: the portion of people in the work force who wanted to work, looked for a job last month, but weren't working during the first week in December. The rate includes the stay-at-home mom who started sending out resumes when her husband's company had its second round of layoffs, but it doesn't count the out-of-work auto worker in Michigan who's so frustrated, she's given up looking. It doesn't include 1.9 million unemployed people who looked for work in the last year, but not the last month. It doesn't include 8 million people working part-time either because they couldn't find full-time work or because their hours had been cut. Add them in and you're looking at 21 million unemployed or under-employed workers, representing 13.5 percent of the labor force."
Kind of alarming huh?
I was curious what Texas's unemployment rate was. Well, it turns out Texas statistics are not in yet for the month of December. They'll be released on January 23.
However, I found an article on the Texas Workforce Commission website, that said in November of 2008 the Texas unemployment rate rose slightly to 5.7 percent, up from 5.6 percent in October 2008 and 4.2 percent in November 2007.
As for Bryan-College Station, the unemployment rate was at 4.4 percent in November 2008, up from 4.1 percent In October 2008, and 3.4 percent in November 2007.
I count my blessings everyday that I can get up and do a job I've always wanted to do, but I do know people that have been affected by the current financial crisis and my heart goes out to them. I also know that in an uncertain time, we must live wisely.
My New Year's Resolution of saving money has become even more important! I also know many of you are cutting corners where you can.
To help us all pinch pennies, we're thinking about starting a new segment on News 3. It would be dedicated to helping us all save money.
I'm looking for ideas from you. Do you clip coupons, carpool, barter? Let me know how you save, and you could end up on News 3. Feel free to leave your thoughts here or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.