Unemployment Climbs Near 1982 Levels

Unemployment is increasing so fast, so dramatic, well, all I can say is Merry Christmas. Even in normal times Corporations like to give pink slips as stocking stuffers, just in time for the Holidays. This year they have a jump on that fine act and being fired is now the gift that keeps on giving, way before the actual holiday pink slip season.
BLS Unemployment rate graph, updated

U.S. Economy: Jobless Claims Approach Highest Level Since 1982 :

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits approached a 26-year high, and a gauge of the economy's future performance dropped, sending yields on benchmark Treasuries to record lows.

There Goes Japan. It's Official, they are in recession

Japan's Economy Is in Recession:

The country's gross domestic product contracted at an annual rate of 0.4 percent from July to September, marking the second consecutive quarter of negative growth -- the technical definition of a recession. Japan's previous recession was in 2001, after the collapse of the dot-com bubble in the United States.

Japan's economy minister warned that the situation could worsen: Collapsing sales of Japanese goods in the United States and Europe amid the global downturn threaten to make the country's export-dependent economy even weaker in coming months.

"Downside risks to the economy are growing further, and Japan is in a very serious situation," Kaoru Yosano said at a news conference.

UN to China - Be More Socialist to Spur Economic Growth

The irony of this story ...

The United Nations is telling China to Spend More on Public Services in order to sustain economic growth and notes the economic disparity of the Nation.

China needs to spend more on education, health care and social welfare to sustain economic expansion as a global recession looms, the United Nations said in a report today.

The fruits of China's rapid growth haven't spread equally, and disparities limit continued expansion, according to the China Human Development Report. Shanghai and Beijing compare in development to European countries such as Cyprus and Portugal, while inland provinces like Guizhou in the southwest are closer to African economies like Botswana and Namibia, it said.

Economy Contracts

As expected, GDP falls 0.3% in the 3rd quarter, but that's a little better than what was forecast, a 0.5% contraction.

GDP has risen 0.8% in the past year.
Economists expect the economy to contract in the final three months of this year and the first three months of 2009, with the nation's unemployment rate pegged to rise near the 8% mark. It would be the longest contraction since 1975.

What is more subtle, the focus is on consumer confidence and spending, in the headlines and analysts. Once again, not on production, which is on life-support.

GDP Exceeds Estimates - But Wait, Some Economists calling it the Last Hurrah

Just when you think the respite is upon us, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says:

Today's GDP report is kind of the last hurrah for the U.S. economy, said at a press conference today. ``We've begun the process of slipping into a good old-fashioned recession -- Martin Regalia, chief economist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce