For some, it's a recession--for others, it's a soul crushing depression

Submitted by Eternity on Fri, 11/06/2009 - 11:12.
  • Lizzy Ratner: Young people have lost 2.5 million jobs to the crisis, making them the hardest-hit age group.

The Nation - When David Thyme was an even younger man than he is today, his fantasies of early adulthood did not include a 9:30 pm curfew and a bed in Covenant House, a shelter for homeless youth. Then again, they also didn't include a recession so severe that his financially strapped father would ask him to help with rent--or that when he couldn't find an entry-level job to do so, his father would ask him to leave home. "He was like, Son, you got to do what you got to do. I can't have you in my house," recalled the thin-faced 18-year-old from the Bronx.

Shawn Bolden, an earnest 23-year-old from Harlem, also nursed a different vision of his youthful years. A graduate of Monroe College with a degree in criminal justice, he imagined dedicating his days to nurturing the minds of the next generation of neglected students, doing his part to solder shut the school-to-prison pipeline. But since losing his job teaching arts and college prep at a local nonprofit in June, he's been struggling to find his way back into the classroom, all the while worrying about feeding his newborn daughter.

And then there's Charles Channon. A 25-year-old graduate of George Washington University, he dreamed that his postcollege days would be devoted to an onward-and-upward career with an international development firm--or at least a job with which to pay off $65,000 in college debt. "I wouldn't pretend that there's absolutely no conceit in me, but I do want to get out there and make the best difference I can," he said.


So much for youthful fantasies. Read more.

Broader Measure of U.S. Unemployment Stands at 17.5%

Cleveland has been in a full-blown depression for many years.

Nationally, the 10%ish official unemployment rate says little about the real condition of joblessness in America, as reported today on NYTimes, which is at depression levels:

For all the pain caused by the Great Recession, the job market still was not in as bad shape as it had been during the depths of the early 1980s recession — until now.

With the release of the jobs report on Friday, the broadest measure of unemployment and underemployment tracked by the Labor Department has reached its highest level in decades. If statistics went back so far, the measure would almost certainly be at its highest level since the Great Depression.

In all, more than one out of every six workers — 17.5 percent — were unemployed or underemployed in October. The previous recorded high was 17.1 percent, in December 1982.

This includes the officially unemployed, who have looked for work in the last four weeks. It also includes discouraged workers, who have looked in the past year, as well as millions of part-time workers who want to be working full time.

The official jobless rate — 10.2 percent in October, up from 9.8 percent in September — remains lower than the early 1980s peak of 10.8 percent.

The rate is highest today, sometimes 20 percent, in states that had big housing bubbles, like California and Arizona, or that have large manufacturing sectors, like Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island and South Carolina.

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