Happy days aren’t here again

“Am I going to have to start watching the market again?” a friend on Twitter asked me a few minutes ago.

Apparently so. Reports of a recovery appear to have been premature. The stock market is about to drop below 10,000 again.

There is, of course, more to an economy than 30 stock prices. But economies are emotional things. Today’s big drop was spurred by higher-than-expected jobless claims.

“The higher than expected (jobless claims) number indicates we’re probably not in the job creation phase at this point,” an analyst told Reuters. That’s just the thing that makes people put their wallets back in their pocket, and begin to hunker down for another recession.

This Friday, according to a report today, the government will acknowledge that the number of jobs lost during the recession was much worse than previously thought. It will reportedly issue the biggest change in unemployment numbers in 30 years.

We know that unemployment data is a “lagging indicator,” meaning that after a recession ends, it takes awhile before jobs start returning. Some economists have theorized that the recession actually ended last May. Others say it ended in November.

So how long will it take? Maybe longer than most baby boomers (in my case) have got.

During the Depression, the economy started growing in 1933, but unemployment stayed in the 15-percent range until the 1940s, when the economic impact of World War II began to be felt.

The Wall St. rally that started last spring was based on the assumption that the economy was no longer in a free fall. The market is down 4 percent so far in 2010 and some are predicting a full-blown market correction of 10 percent.

An economy needs optimism to recover. There’s little to be found.

  • Lily

    There is plenty of room for optimism!!

    On these cloud filled days, I recall the dismal days of 1981-82, when I was a new grad with a MASTER’s degree. There were no jobs then, all was dismal and then a few years later the world improved.

    This recession will too, though us boomers may need to work a few years longer then planned. I, for one, am preparing for that.

    It really is best not to listen to the news day to day.

    By the way, that master’s degree was the best investment I ever made,

  • Minnwhaler

    Lily,

    There is optimism, reality, and, hmmm..

    Yes things will improve. Not everyone is able to “invest” in a Master’s degree or even an Associates’s degree, due to unmet needs in the public school system.

    I do agree education is the key to survival, but it is not delivered fairly or consistently in the U.S.

    I am no doomsday thinker, but there is much to be done. I believe the baby boomers have caused more problems than they have alleviated. We are probably the last generation that can take doing better than our parents as a given. Take those rose-colored glasses off and look at the world from other points of view.

    So glad you are happy with yours.