Hopelessness Hit 9.4% In May

Hopelessness hit 9.4% in May. Oh wait, we meant joblessness. Actually, with jobless claims about half the average loss of the past six months, could hope poised for a comeback? [NYT] (Photo: joshuahoffmanphoto)

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  1. Coles_Law says:

    Hope is a lagging indicator, so I think we’ll see other metrices trending up first.

  2. Laura Northrup says:

    No hope, and a 21.4% increase in people panhandling for change.

  3. laserjobs says:

    The BLS Birth/Death Model added 220k fantasy jobs to the April Employment Report. So you can bet the numbers are worse than reported.

  4. IT-Chick says:

    That picture is sad, looks like he is buttoning his shirt wrong too, which makes it double sad.

  5. Shoelace says:

    Hopelessness fluctuates. My hopelessness usually decreased after leaving a job then stayed down for a few weeks or months. When I found out my new job sucked or I stayed unemployed for too long and worried about $$s, hopelessness would increase again.

  6. XTC46 says:

    Someone should do a study on how people are trying to better themselves durring unemployment to make themselves a better candidate.

    I mean, that extra 40 hours a week is more than enough to sharpen up on any number of computer skills, or learning a new language, or something.

  7. RogueWarrior says:

    Who is John Galt?

  8. Jeff_McAwes0me says:

    I believe the new term is “Funemployment”

  9. darkwing says:

    It’s funny how, for the last eight years, a drop in jobless claims was spun as a sign that the unemployed were giving up hope. But now, in a much worse economy, it’s a sign of life — “funemployment”, as the LA Times called it.

    Seriously, the unemployment rate just rocketed up, much faster than it rose in April. It slammed the Treasury auction. None of this can possibly be realistically spun as good news, or even as only moderately bad news.

  10. HogwartsAlum says:

    I almost feel guilty for having a job, albeit one that sucks most of the time.

  11. Jonbo298 says:

    While the more accurate “jobless” rate is around 16% I believe at last check if you count people who settled for part time right now or just stopped trying to find a job.

  12. Devin Scherck says:

    But I thought Obama was going to fix the economy! :P

    Why do I picture an angry Obi-wan screaming at Obama, “You were the Chosen One! It was said that you would, destroy the unemployment rate, not increase them!”

  13. valen says:

    Getting employment as a recent college graduate seems like mission impossible.

    There are too many employers offering “entry level” positions that require a degree AND 3+ years of full time employment experience. In addition to these new experience requirements, most employers seem to prorate (or not consider) part time or volunteer employment experience. If you worked part time through all four years of college, you would only qualify for 2 years of full time experience under these prorated plans.

    Given these current circumstances, getting a job after leaving college is nearly impossible. Recent college graduates end up experiencing the “Catch-22″ effect where they need employment experience to get a position but can not find a position to gain employment experience due to the employment experience requirements.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      @valen: This is the problem, when I started looking for a job after college there was absolutely nothing to even apply for since there was no one hiring without a degree and 5 years experience (in your field). I assume that sending my resume to that type of place would just be a waste of my time as it would get rejected immediately (same for many others). The career office was no help either as they can’t provide job leads if there aren’t any out there.

      Its simply not possible to get 3-5 years experience when your 22 years old, especially when your degree requires that you devote basically your whole day every day to achieving that degree in your senior year of college.

      Another problem is that you can’t get a lesser job either, because no one wants to hire a recent college grad because they know that when the person finds something better, the person will be gone from that position (then there is always the question of does a lesser job like working retail or fast food even help that resume?). Its entirely possible to become overqualified for a position and be rejected on that basis as well. Retail jobs are extremely scare here as most stores have a hiring freeze going on and are going with as few employees as possible.

      I am still unemployed but I managed to keep my sanity at least (and I do odd jobs and lots of ebay selling to make money). However some are not so lucky as I had a friend who was so fed up with life because he couldn’t get a job he just killed himself since he felt so useless (guaranteed that wasn’t the only thing but it was a big contributing factor). Its an easier trap to fall into than people think especially when EVERYONE is asking you if you got a job and where you are working, it wears on you after a while, especially when people start thinking of you as a lesser human being just because you don’t have a job.

  14. jp7570 says:

    9.4% only reports on those currently in the “system” as unemployed. Once your benefits run out, you fall off the grid. 9.4% also does not accurately portray the fact that many employed are severely underemployed, earning far less than before – sometimes less than the poverty standard.

    So where is the real number? That’s up for debate, but some have postulated the real number may be as high as twice the so-called unemployment rate.

    • morlo says:

      @jp7570: The number of people actually productively employed is probably closer to 9%. Government, health care, entertainment, finance, advertising, etc. shouldn’t really count as “employment”

  15. fredmertz says:

    The payroll number decreased 345k. The number of unemployed persons increased by about 785k, meaning 440k people who were temporarily employed (thus not counted in the unemployed number) lost their jobs. The average hours worked dropped by 1/10th of an hour, which is actually significant and a terrible leading indicator that people are getting their hours cut which is a prelude to getting fired.

    The Birtd/Death model is indeed something of a fudge, but it only added 40k more jobs to May than it did to April, so you can’t just add those 220k back and compare it to the April number, without adding 180k back to that one.

  16. t-r0y says:

    Well, we got the change, but apparently we’ll have to wait for the hope.