Saturday, March 07, 2009
In Case You Need a Means of Comparison
(Click to Embiggen)
Regarding economic health, unemployment rate is the metric everyone seems to believe is the most indicative measure. As you will notice, unemployment rates have been higher than the current 8.1% at several times in this country's recent past.
The roughly seven to eight year period between the years 1892 and 1900 are what helped spawn the rise of organized labor. Unemployment spiked again shortly after World War I in the early 1920's when European nations no longer needed to purchase war materials. The Great Depression, of course, marked the highest period of joblessness, rising as high as 1 in 5 without employment. Sustained unemployment persisted through the thirties and only began to decline when World War II began in 1939. Job loss was as high as the current day in 1975, decreased to five percent by the end of the decade, then rose again with the early eighties recession to which this current downturn is being compared.
Or, in other works, don't let the hyperbole driven by the media and those who would seek to harness financial uncertainty for its own ends fool you. These surely aren't stable times, but neither are they as catastrophic as some would have one believe. We have made it through things worse than this before and come out on the end stronger.