Employment figures very bleak.

The December 2008 Labor stats came out today and there is only one bit of good news.  It couldn’t get any worse.  In 2008, 2.6 million workers lost their jobs (over 500,000 just in December) and unemployment has edged up to 7.2% .  We now have over 11.1 million people unemployed in the US.  This figure only counts those full time workers who are now considered unemployed and looking for work.  It does not take into account those working part time because they can’t find full time work.  It also doesn’t take into account those who have given up looking for work.  Some experts are putting the true figure at 13-14%.

All industries are down, with the exception of Healthcare and related industries, and Education.  Both of these segments are ones that I’ve identified often as being good target industries for 50 Plussers.   OK.  So that is a tiny second positive note. 

It will continue to get worse, but hopefully not in major chunks of layoffs as we saw in the last quarter of 2008, but keep in mind that job loss comes AFTER businesses have already incurred huge losses…the employees are kind of the end result of the economic freefall.  That means that the trickle-down will continue.  If you have a job, hold onto it — even though it will likely mean no raises this year and possible pay cuts…and forget bonuses!, because if you leave without another job lined up, you will find a very tough road ahead.  If you’ve lost your job, or suspect you might lose it soon, take heart.  You are one of many, but that also means that a lot of creativity and ingenuity is about to surface.  And if Obama’s plan to build 3 million jobs works, then we should feel the glimmerings of a bounce back building within 2009. 

It is hard to worry quite as much about the state of the housing market when people are struggling to pay for groceries…let alone rent and mortgages.  Here’s an article from CNN Money that gives a good overview of the employment situation.

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