One sad new commentary on the continued economic problems that the recession is creating for many families is the recent big increase of many Americans now turning in small change like pennies, nickels and dimes to banks for cash to pay bills. Many banks now note twice as much small change traffic compared to only months ago. Meanwhile two states, Oregon and Washington noted increases in May unemployment statistics. Oregon's unemployment increased to 12.4%, the largest number recorded since 1976 when modern new methods to figure unemployment were employed. In Washington, based on the huge decline in construction work, unemployment statistics increased to 9.4%. Both states noted a 0.3% increase in unemployment figures since last month, clearly indicating that unemployment problems tend to be only worsening despite attempts by the states and the Federal government to stimulate the economy. Further, on Wall Street there appears to be some signs of investor discouragement as well, with the markets retreating both business days. Whether this signals just a market correction, or genuine concern that the economy is barely improving are all real concerns.
It is known that unemployment tends to historically trend six months behind the economy. However, in the U.S. many economic trends continue to lag while some segments in nations such as China continue to improve. In China, the automobile market looks strong, and manufacturing seems to be rebounding somewhat.
There is a constant image of the poor turning in cans for cash at grocery stores. Now unfortunately, many Americans are not that far behind, turning in their pennies, nickels and dimes to pay bills.
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