The DF&C and I went out the other day to pick up a few things at one of the big home-improvement stores, which was nearly empty, and on the way back to the shack cruised by several shopping centers, each anchored with a Best Buy or other big-box store, and the parking lots were nearly deserted.
This obviously was a reflection of consumer confidence being in the toilet, as well as a record one in 10 homeowners with mortgages being behind on their payments or in foreclosure. But the news today that employers shed another 533,000 jobs in November was nevertheless shocking.
It was the 11th consecutive monthly jobs decline and the largest one-month loss since December 1974 amidst the first OPEC oil crisis of that decade. The unemployment rate is now at 6.7 percent and predictions that it may reach 10 percent no longer seem rash.
Year-to-date job loss totals: Two freaking million! And no safety net once unemployment bennies run out.