Unemployment hits 23.5% in Oregon–

How bad is the unemployment problem in Oregon (and the rest of the US)?

The New York Times offers a graphic that allows you to see the value of the two main unemployment indicators (U-3 and U-6) for every state in the country.  U-3 is the official rate; it is 9.5% nationally and 12.2% in Oregon.  U-6 is the adjusted rate (which means it takes into account involuntary part-time employment and discouraged workers).  It is a crushing 16.5% nationally and an even higher 23.5% in Oregon.

That’s right—23.5% in Oregon.

According to the Times, the U-6 rate “was 21.5 percent in both Michigan and Rhode Island and 20.3 percent in California. In Tennessee, Nevada and several other states that have relied heavily on manufacturing or housing, the rate was just under 20 percent this spring and may have since surpassed it.”

I think we are moving beyond the “Great Recession” to the “Great Depression 2.”

Those arguing about whether we need a bigger or smaller stimulus are missing the point–we need a new economy.


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