[Charts from the BLS press release]
The latest jobs report is out and the numbers are just about exactly as expected, the US August unemployment rate stands at 9.7% and the number of job losses is at 216,000. Job losses continue but the rate is falling and the unemployment rate is hovering in the mid 9 percent range. There are some rays of hope now - increased industrial activity, Europe and the Far East recovering a but more quickly than expected, and stimulus money that is finally finding its way into paychecks - that should help the situation. But consumer confidence remains low, retail sales are weak and the housing sector is and will be depressed for some time.
All of this points to an ending of the free fall but a long time digging out of the pit. I am optimistic that nationally we shall avoid double digit unemployment and the 13% level in Oregon, but I am prepared for a 2010 that has a stubbornly slow rate of growth, especially in employment.