Thursday, October 15, 2009

Are We Truly on an Economic Upturn?

Oct 15, 2009: There has been a lot of talk in the news about how the economic climate of the U.S. is improving. One of the key indicators used is the unemployment rate. Though the rate has crept up a little in the last few weeks, pundits still claim they are lower than a few months ago. The problem with this indicator is that, often, the statistic used to back it is the number of unemployment claims filed for the period.

What the indicator doesn't consider, by and large, is the hundreds or thousands of unemployed who no longer can file due to the length of time they have been out of work. In other words, their benefit has run out. So, where are these men and women now? Many are selling off possessions,  some are begging on the streets and some are resorting to criminal activities to get by.

Relief agencies and churches have seen an increase in demand for help while giving has remained fairly constant. There are some groups that have seen an increase in giving but, this is offset by those who have seen a decrease. The only advice we can rely on is to watch our spending as individuals, give where you can and, if you are able, help your neighbor find a job. Next week he could be returning the favor. -bkc

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