Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Real Story of Unemployment and the Economy In America

Every month, we get an accounting of the overall unemployment rate.  Last month, the number moved up slightly to 6.2% from June's 6.1%.  All-in-all, that number seems reasonable; given that we were at nearly 10% unemployment in 2011. As a result, many Americans feel that unemployment is not a big problem anymore.

However, out of that top-level 6.2%, there are some very disturbing facts.

First, many of our major cities are still suffering.  Take Chicago, for example. That city's unemployment rate is at 8.4% or 35% higher than the national average.  Los Angeles sits at 7.6%.  Cleveland is at 8.5%,  and Detroit -- still in bankruptcy -- is at a whopping 14.5%.

The two cities that depend on gaming and leisure revenues -- Las Vegas and Atlantic City -- are still on the high side of unemployment; indicating that Americans don't have the ability to resume vacationing at these pre-recession, entertainment hot spots.  In Las Vegas, the unemployment rate is still 7.6%.  Atlantic City is almost double that, and worse than Detroit at 14.9%, and we are now seeing once high-trafficked casinos closing for lack of visitors.

The bottom line is that many of our major cities have high rates of unemployment because, quite frankly, their economies haven't recovered.  All three of the major metropolitan areas -- New York, Los Angeles and Chicago -- are struggling to keep their heads above water, and at least 20 more smaller cities such as Oakland, Fresno, and Harrisburg could see themselves in bankruptcy court very soon.

So, when I hear that President Obama is going to "pivot" to the economy and how well it's doing under his watch, I know that he's only able to do so because many Americans only hear the top line numbers every month and too many of those will falsely think it's the truth.  But, this country -- now 5 years since the recession ended -- is still in a world of hurt; and, that's a story that is definitely not being told.


Chicago Unemployment Rate: https://www.google.com/search?q=chicago+unemployment+rate&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb

Los Angeles Unemployment Rate:  https://www.google.com/search?q=Los+Angeles+unemployment+rate&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb

Cleveland Unemployment Rate: https://www.google.com/search?q=cleveland+unemployment+rate&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb

Detroit Unemployment Rate: https://www.google.com/search?q=Detroit+unemployment+rate&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb

Las Vegas Unemployment Rate: https://www.google.com/search?q=las+vegas+unemployment+rate&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb

Atlantic City Unemployment Rate: https://www.google.com/search?q=atlantic+City+unemployment+rate&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb

Casinos no longer golden for Atlantic City: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-atlantic-city-blues-20140725-story.html

3 huge cities flirting with bankruptcy Staggering under pension obligations and debt, any of these could follow Detroit into court:  http://money.msn.com/investing/post--3-huge-cities-flirting-with-bankruptcy

20 Cities That May Face Bankruptcy After Detroit: http://www.newsmax.com/US/cities-bankruptcy-after-detroit/2013/08/06/id/519081/

Obama pivots to economic legacy: http://thehill.com/news/administration/213888-obama-pivots-to-economic-legacy

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