Charles: Unemployment has gone from 10.2% to 10% both figures are close to the historical high figure of 10.80 in the winter of 1982.
Richard: Yes and unfortunately the average amount of time it takes someone to find employment is now 28.5 weeks; that is six and a half months!
Charles: And six and half months is one of the worst averages in history, even worse than in 1982.
Richard: That's right.
Charles: We can also say we have a new record in terms of a worker’s time to get a job in the first place. The last time it took that long was back in the spring of 1983, 26 years ago.
Richard: And I recall the winter of 2003 has been pretty bad too. Many families went hungry or actually broke up because of the situation.
Charles: All those were terrible years and now it is even worse; it's going to take a long time for full employment to return and it might never be 4.5% again, instead we may have 6% or 6.5% as full employment. Our total labor force is about 154 million people, therefore the over 15 million that are unemployed at present represent the more than 10% unemployment figure although some analyst believe that the actual amount, allowing for those that stop searching for employment and those that work only a few hours a week, is approximately 17.5%.
Richard: you are right; and for those that are lucky enough to have a job they are working 4% more hours than what they were working in 2008. These are rough times. No doubt about it.