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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Unemployment Sucks

The US labor department reported Wednesday that consumer prices rose 1.1 percent in June, the highest one month rise in 26 years, and the 12 month inflation rate at 5.0% the highest since may 1991. Testifying before Congress, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested that inflation would go higher.The Fed last month broke a string of reductions by leaving interest rates unchanged, a recognition that lower rates had weighed on the US dollar and led to increases in commodities such as oil and food. The so called downturn is also being fueled by the turmoil and bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the collapse of IndyMac. The troubled economy is having direct effects on people’s everyday lives. US home prices have fallen 17 percent over the past year, foreclosure filings surged 53 percent in June with 252,363 homes receiving at least one foreclosure-related notice and More than 71,000 properties were repossessed by lenders nationwide in June. In addition, access to health care is increasingly out of reach, In 2007, more than 75 million or 42% of all working age Americans either had no health insurance during the year or were under insured, up from 35% in 2003 and almost 16 percent of Americans or 47 million people have no health insurance at all. The jobless rate stayed at 5.5% percent in June after soaring in May to the highest rate in 20 years, and is expected to reach 6% next year. Meanwhile, consumers are taking drastic steps in changing their eating habits to adjust to rising food prices. To add to the economic woes, The Auto Industry, traditionally one of the largest employers in North America as well as offering some of the best wages and benefits is also in a financial tailspin.

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