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Main Street Unemployment Contrasts Wall Street Perceptions of Improvement

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According to a January 8 article in the Huffington Post, lack of confidence in the recent economic recovery led employers to shed an unanticipated 85,000 jobs in December 2009—even as the unemployment rate held steady at 10 percent.  While it may seem strange that unemployment rates flatlined as American jobs continue to disappear, the explanation is even more disconcerting; in truth, the rate would have been higher if more people had been looking for work instead of ending their search because they can't find jobs.

As the Huffington Post reported: “The sharp drop in the work force – 661,000 fewer people – showed that more of the jobless are giving up. Once people stop looking for jobs, they're no longer counted among the unemployed. When discouraged workers and part-time workers who would prefer full-time jobs are included, the so-called "underemployment" rate in December rose to 17.3 percent, from 17.2 percent in November. That's just below a revised figure of 17.4 percent in October, the highest on records dating from 1994.”

Many had hoped the latest Labor report would support the premise that the economy had actually begun to rebound, gaining jobs for the first time in two years.  As such, the divide between the have nots and notions from economic “experts” continues to grow as Main Street unemployment once again negatively contrasted Wall Street perceptions of economic improvement. "One word sums it up: Disappointment," Jonathan Basile, an economist at Credit Suisse told Huffington Post. The drop in the labor force, Basile said, "tells me that Main Street doesn't believe there's a recovery yet, because they're not out looking for jobs yet."

As it is, the unemployment rate holds steady at 10%.

In terms of job creation, the bar is now a bit lower for a “happier new year.” Friday's report caps a 2009 considered another terrible year for U.S. workers. The economy has lost more than 7.2 million jobs since the recession’s beginnings in December 2007. And while layoffs have slowed, they have hardly ended, with December’s numbers providing another staggering reminder.

"The economy is in a rough situation," Labor Secretary Hilda Solis acknowledged in an interview with The Associated Press. She said she thinks companies are reluctant to ramp up hiring because they're waiting to see what new stimulative steps the government will take to provide relief.

In an attempt to offset these negative numbers, President Obama has presented $2.3 billion in tax credits that Congress has already approved to create 17,000 green jobs.  Meanwhile, Congress is considering a "jobs bill" that would contribute $174 billion in unemployment benefits. Our nation’s leaders understand that if jobs remain scarce, consumer confidence and spending will continue to flag, slowing the economic recovery.

While recent reports of the nation’s financial future remain nothing short of bleak, the good news remains that through bankruptcy laws, borrowers facing unemployment can take their future into their own hands, stop drowning in health care, consumer and mortgage debt, and begin on the road to a more viable financial future.

Every week bankruptcy attorneys continue to meet with dozens of Americans in financial distress due to employment woes.  Each time those who have encountered job misfortune come into law offices feeling hopeless and at the end of their rope, perceiving no alternatives to their continuing fiscal problems.  Almost every time, however, it seems more and more when these same clients leave these offices, they finally feel some sense of relief for the first time since the job recession started; they are reassured that the bankruptcy laws and the bankruptcy system offers them the possibility of a new start— at an affordable cost—and with it a financially viable and secure future. In short, bankruptcy relief ends worry and stress for many jobless Americans living on the financial brink.

For reliable bankruptcy advice that you can trust, contact The Law Firm of John T. Orcutt. And to find out more about your bankruptcy options, visit The Law Offices of John T. Orcutt’s “Things to See and Hear” information.

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