Facts and figures are often generally deceiving about almost any subject you can name. Nowhere is this more evident than when talking about the economy. Republicans can find as many reasons to say the present administration isn’t working as Democrats can find to point out the mistakes of the Bush years. Hindsight is a wonderful teacher, if that is the purpose for which it is used, but in politics and the economy, every situation is different from a previous one.
Growth on Wall Street
Recently it was pointed out that Wall Street has improved during the Obama years. In January of 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 8,281. It has increased to 11,020 as of July 2012. During the eight years preceding, the DJIA went from 10,525 to the 8,281 average. Many people still consider the Dow to be the barometer of health in the economy, even though it can change quickly from one day to another.
The year 2012 has thus far been a disappointment because so many had hoped for so much more growth. Jobs are increasing, but not at the rate many would like. There is also a great concern for the quality of the jobs available, as many professions are receiving less compensation than they were before the great economic collapse.
The Decrease in Unemployment
Unemployment has decreased during Obama’s term, but it still is not at an acceptable rate. From the Bush administration’s 10% to a current number hovering around 8%, it sounds good but older Americans remember how plentiful jobs once were.
From 1950 to the present day, unemployment has averaged around 5.6%. When the percentage has gone above this median number, it has typically fallen back to or below 5.6% within 18 months.
This mythical percentage point was exceeded in October of 2008, and it hasn’t been seen again since. Even if the decreases in unemployment continue at the rate they are following presently, it would be 2014 before we would see 5.6% again.
Fallacy in Numbers
The numbers reported by the government, in any administration, are misleading. Unemployment as most people consider it should be the percentage of people who can and want to work but aren’t employed. In practice, the published numbers can be as much as 2 to 3 points lower than the actual figures. This is because of the forgotten Americans.
Once a person drawing unemployment is no longer eligible, they drop from the radar. They are just as unemployed as they were before, but the government forgets about them. With such high scale unemployment as the nation has seen in the last few years, there are many people who may still be looking for work, but are completely ignored by the media.
Where Do You Stand in the Economic Picture?
If there was ever a better time to seek advice on personal financing related to the economy, it is now. Many of the long held beliefs and actions to take no longer hold water in an economy where politicians either don’t know how or are refusing to fix the issues. While it is not possible to change the path of the nation, it is very plausible that you can take advantage where opportunities exist.
Be thankful if you have employment, and plan your moves based on sound counsel because things can change at anytime as history has shown us. It is best to be prepared for hard times before they hit, not to start preparing after.
Mary A. wrote this article for Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyer Anthony Deluca of Deluca & Associates. Check out their bankruptcy blog for more.