Unemployment Rate Is Up Again

The unemployment numbers are out for November and, not surprisingly, they aren't good. While the previous few months the unemployment rate held steady around 9.5-9.6%, last month it rose to 9.8%. You wouldn't know the unemployment numbers are up considering the Dow closed up 19.68 today. Is this a disconnect or what?

Regardless of how Wall Street responded, the response of Congress makes me wince, it being something along the lines of “Unemployment nears 10%. Hey, let's raise taxes!” Yeah, that will work.

On Capitol Hill the House, controlled by Democrats for one more month, took swift action to make the economy worse. By a vote of 234-188 yesterday, the lame lawmakers approved a "Motion to Concur in the Senate Amendment with an Amendment" to the Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2010, Part III. Believe it or not, that's Beltwayese for "tax increase."

Is it any wonder the economy isn't recovering? Businesses are holding on to their cash and not hiring because they have no idea what to expect from the government (and particularly Congress) over the next few months. With that kind of uncertainty is it any wonder businesses are not expanding and not eating up their cash reserves in case things get worse?

As if the unemployment news bad enough, we must remember that there are a number of unemployed who have dropped off the roles because they've given up looking for work or have exhausted their unemployment benefits. If we include them in the unemployment numbers the actual unemployment rate is closer to 18%.

There's a side effect of all of this economic turmoil many are be ignoring: Some people are offered jobs but they can't take them. Here's why:

A local employer has been having problems finding the personnel needed in order to expand. A number of well qualified people have applied, been interviewed, and offered positions. But they've turned them down because it wasn't going to be possible for them to relocate because it was likely they wouldn't be able to sell their homes. Also the distance their commute would be far too long. Who wants to spend 4 hours a day on the road commuting to and from a job if it's more than likely they'll find a job much closer to where they presently live?

How do I know this? Because the local employer is the company I work for. And if my company moved closer to where some of these applicants lived? Then the present employees would have exactly the same problem. It's a no win situation until the economy and by extension, the housing market improves. Until then we're dead in the water.