Friday, November 6, 2009

Unemployment Hits 10.2%

The national unemployment rate hit double digits in October.

To be precise, it stands at 10.2%. It marks the highest unemployment rate in this country's history since April 1983 when unemployment also stood at 10.2%. So a whole generation of Americans never knew what double digit unemployment meant. Until now.

Of course, some states such as Michigan have experienced double digit unemployment for some time now. As of September, their unemployment rate was 15.3%.

Obviously, there's a psychological impact when unemployment hits double digits particularly amongst those who have just found themselves unemployed and for those who have been struggling to find any kind of work for months.

Yet it must be remembered that double digit unemployment prevailed during an extended period of Ronald Reagan's first term in office. Between September 1982 and June 1983, the national unemployment rate was over 10%. The unemployment rate hit its peak of 10.8% in November and December 1982. But two years later, the unemployment rate had fallen nearly 3.5% and Reagan won 49 out of 50 states. President Obama has another three years before he goes to the polls. The point here is that time is on his side. But will he make wise use of it?

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