Average Unemployment Period Hits All Time Record High Of 6 Months

Tyler Durden's picture

The length of time the average unemployed
has been without a job has just passed an all time record 26 weeks.
This is the longest time average unemployed American has been jobless
since this data series has been recorded. In other news, as this data
point is obviously unspinnable positively for general consumption, expect the dollar to shortly hit zero, as the stock market approaches to reach infinity.

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Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Anyone notice the general trend of the chart over the last 50 years? Time for me to break out my old dog eared copy of the "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire."



cougar_w's picture

Better use of your time: Start writing something on the rise and fall of the middle class.

There are more middle-class people alive today than all the Romans that ever lived. And they are softer and less capable (in material terms) than the average Plebeian  of 476AD, and have access to fewer resources.

This cannot end well.


sgt_doom's picture

Sadly, but in a most enlightened manner, that has already been written:

Joseph A. Tainter's "Collapse of Complex Societies" --- if you haven't yet read this, or his other works, they are really the result of some brilliant and insightful research --- and which most seriously takes into consideration the prevailing economic actions of the pertinent times.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture


I finished this book last week and I've just started it again. It's so filled to the brim with information and ideas that I'm getting nearly as much out of it the second time as I did the first.

Honestly I wasn't sure how I felt after the first go round. While it helps to have a better understanding of what's going on, sometimes ignorance is bliss. Just because you're aware of how and why the car is crashing doesn't make it much better if you're inside the car.

Ultimately the insanity of us as individuals is that we have a tendency to think along the following lines. While everyone else is doomed, doomed, doomed, because I'm aware and can see what's happening, I can save myself.

If we're all in the same pot of boiling water, it really doesn't matter who knows the future and who doesn't.


sgt_doom's picture

Agreed!  But it makes for interesting dinner party conversational topics (no...just kidding here!).

But it does allow one to better frame the existing reality when everyone is posing a thousand solutions to a thousand problems, which really won't be any different tomorrow, unless one really and truly drills down to the fundamental problems.

E.g., to those still in the fooled column -- they can keep making those donations (to Obama, or to that "public option", etc.) while those in control know what the real score is and are laughing all the way to the bank, or rather hedge fund....

Ever diminishing returns on more and more problem-solving yields relatively little.

cougar_w's picture

[ever diminishing returns] That would be the death-spiral of a complex system.

Complexity is a meat grinder eating itself. Complex systems grind themselves into rust, and can proceed past their own event horizon almost instantly.

And yes, we are all inside this one.

6 billions+ of us.

This cannot end well.


Anonymous's picture

The trend is indicative of the increased mobility of firms and industries due to Globalization. Dani Rodrik has done some work on this (I can't remember what the names/dates of the papers are) but generally, the idea is that in a closed economy, the proportion of doctors to mechanics to engineers to tailors is fairly stable over time. But when firms/industries are mobile, these ratios become quite volatile. For example, if GM shuts down, lots of their workers have skills that are difficult to transfer to other jobs quickly. So, they stay unemployed longer. I think that to some extent this is a global trend, not specific to the US.

This is also supposedly one of the reasons why govt transfers seem to be quite highly correlated with trade openness.

Daedal's picture

TD, no worries.

Here's the positive spin: "Record high unemployment checks driving consumer spending."

digalert's picture

The agenda for setting records is working, record rallies, record deficits, record spending...

SilverIsKing's picture

Do not forget that we are in the midst of a 'JOBLESS RECOVERY' so don't expect the jobs picture to get any brighter.  Once you accept that fact, then it will all make more sense.

Bam_Man's picture

A "jobless recovery" is an oxymoron. There is no such thing. What we are seeing is a totally synthetic, liquidity and stimulus driven spike in activity (mostly financial). It is not by any stretch of the imagination a "recovery" in any way, shape or form.

SilverIsKing's picture

No way?  Do you mean there really is not going to be a jobless recovery?

Anonymous's picture

As has been pointed out numerous times, this is NOT a "jobless recovery. It is a "job loss recovery".

I am not chumbubwa.

cougar_w's picture

No no. It will be a jobless non-recovery.

Well even that is not strictly correct.

Those people will have jobs eventually even aft er the non-recovery.

Trimming lawns. Sweeping the stables. Picking rags at the landfill.

Shucks, with all the potholes that will need filling and ditches need digging you can employ half the country with just a lot of shovels. Problem solved. Seriously.


faustian bargain's picture

haha, that's why we need stimulus 2.0, to fund all those newly-'shovel-ready' jobs.

The government is waiting for just the right level of desperation, and then will swoop in to 'rescue' all the jobless with employment under Uncle Sam, Inc.

sgt_doom's picture

No doubt you are being sarcastic as we are really in a JOBLESS ECONOMY....

Anonymous's picture

Whatsa job? What is work? Many are being paid to walk to the mailbox and pick up a check. Others given credit for lifting forks to their mouth aka Food Stamps. Loves me the dole. Idle survivor.

Why work, unless as a printer, as we counterfeit ourselves into prosperity?

cbxer55's picture

I have been out of work since January 3, 2009. I have applied to so many jobs, it fills a notebook. Done so many interviews, the thought of another one makes my retch.

Anyhow, thought I had a job at Tinker Air Force Base all wrapped up. But gee, who'da thunk the federal government would discriminate against someone with a hearing problem? Thats right, a hearing problem that is the result of working on aircraft for 22 years is keeping me from getting a job working on aircraft! For the feds!

And I cannot renew my Class A driving license, because, WAIT FOR IT! You have to be able to hear a "forced whisper" at five feet in order to drive a semi-truck! Gee, who'da thunk it?

You can't make this stuff up folks! TPTB are making it dang-near impossible for some of us to get a job anymore. I'd give up entirely, but have to make the effort in order to continue getting bennies. And I will exhaust my extended benefits in February 2010.

Glad all we have is a mortgage though. No ccs, no auto loans, nothing. Otherwise we'd be in deep doo-doo.

ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Sorry to hear your story, but I can't say I am surprised, this is totalitarian Fascism at its best (or worst, as it may be).

You are lucky we aren't at the next phase.  We know what the German Fascists did to those with "disabilities".

You think the talk of "Death Panels" came out of nowhere?

Anonymous's picture

Go watch this video entitled "The End of America"


The takeover is so subtle, Americans will wake up one day and the thought of revolting will be to far gone. They will just submit to it all.

VegasBD's picture

If you would have moved to Aussie on Jan 4th....you would have increased your wealth in dollars by 50% by now, and you wouldn't have had to get a job, just swap all your dollars for aussie dollars.

AND you would have found work, less regulation.

Funny, thats why people used to immigrate here =\

chet's picture

I'm sorry to hear your story.  There are too many like you.  Hang in there.  Remember family and friends are the most important.  Things are just things.

walküre's picture

Extreme regulations have killed the American economy. Why do you think our corporations have left the homeland and put their businesses elsewhere?

I'm seriously considering taking my money and moving to Thailand or other Asian country. English goes a long way there and as entrepreneur, there's always opportunity.

The red tape here makes me puke. I can't print money like some other folks, so what's a guy supposed to do? Wait for Santa Claus?

cougar_w's picture

Extreme greed has killed the American economy. Why do you think our corporations have left the homeland and put their businesses elsewhere?

The self-immolation and forced suicide here makes me puke.

faustian bargain's picture

extreme greed bolstered by moral hazard, you mean.

where is the risk? where is the fear of failure? our nanny is taking care of all obstacles.

walküre's picture

Money like water follows the path of least resistance.

That is why the US became the most powerful and the richest nation ever.

Regrettably that has changed and the money is flowing mainly into Asia.

Greed hasn't hurt the economy. No greed, no economy.

Regulations, bureaucracies and oligarchies have destroyed America.

I am greedy and I want to succeed. But why should I invest my capital and my talents where people are concerned about my carbon foot print rather than cheering me on to have a bigger carbon foot print and create jobs in the process.



sgt_doom's picture

But, cbxer55, you are not surprised, are you???

I mean, you aren't one of those typical head-up-the-butt Americans who aren't aware of any surrounding evironment until something falls on them, right?

You do realize there is NO ECONOMY, right?  You do realize all America is about is FIRE, right?  You do know what FIRE means, right?

You do know that all there is be financialization & "financial engineering", right?

You do understand the scam of layer upon layer upon layer of securitization, right?  You do comprehend that this is what led up to the last Great Depression back in the '30s, right?  You do understand that Ponzi-tontine scheme known as credit derivatives, right?

You do realize that AIG was just an insurance firm (although technically an S&L, otherwise they wouldn't have qualified for bailout funds) doing massive insurance fraud by selling policies that they didn't have a frozen rat's ass chance in Hell of ever paying out, right?

You have paid attention to whom you elect for senator and congress critter, right?  Unlike 93% of Ameritards?

Glad we had this discussion.....

chet's picture

The man's talking about being out of work for a year.  Why not save the sarcastic lectures, doom?

cougar_w's picture

This is what the destruction of the middle class sounds like.

Next up, blaming them for not being "competitive".

The end will be near when the middle class is referred to nostalgically as those "simple people chasing a paycheck."

I knew it would become ugly and dark. I had no idea it would be so distasteful.



sgt_doom's picture

Sorry, but I've been working against these times we now live in for over thirty years - and I admit my life has been duly wasted (that includes thousands of unpaid volunteer hours).

Standing before PATCO (the former air traffic controllers' union) back in the late '70s, I pleaded with them not to support Reagan for the presidency, and warned them that they would shortly be sorry (little did I know just how quickly that would turn out to be the case).

I noted that Carter had sold out working Americans (passage of the tax bill giving tax breaks to corporations for laying off American workers & offshoring their jobs, the Depository Institutions and Monetary Control Act -- overturning anti-usury laws, etc., and the deregulation of airlines and trucking industries, etc.), but noted that it would become worse with a republicon in office, and we should make a last ditch attempt working through the dems.

Everything today was predicted and predictable --- but too many people could not be bothered away from those Sunday beer commercials....

Hence my compassion for my fellow Americans is at an all time low.....aiding and abetting, they say.....

cougar_w's picture

Re-learn compassion.

We have all been boned. Nonstop. For 30 years.

90% of Americans are now in the grip of a mighty gang rape. This will continue for a decade, and will likely end in catastrophe.

Compassion will keep you sane through it. Compassion may be all we have left. Without that I fear greatly that nothing at all will be saved.


cbxer55's picture

I am not surprised by most of what you say. I have been following this downturn since sometime in 2007. I am well aware of the similaritys between now and the 1930s.

Also I am not a fan of the boobtube, hardly ever watch the thing, much to my wifes chagrin. I do not watch any of the so-called "reality shows". Only rarely do I watch the local news. I get most of my news from this here tube. It allows me to decide what to read, and what to ignore. I think I am better off for that, I am sure you would agree.

Yes I have paid attention to who I have voted for. And admittedly I have made some bad decisions there, but I am sure most of us can say the same. Anyone who voted for the current white house occupant, for starters?

But what has all that to do with my situation? All of that has to do with not being able to get a job because, at age 48, I suffer hearing problems? Most of which I have had since birth anyways. And up until now it has never been a problem, I have never been denied a job due to my hearing. Now here I am with the two industries I have worked in the last 30 years, and all of a sudden my hearing is a problem!

YES, THAT I AM SURPRISED ABOUT! Especially when Tinker AFB is a "Equal Opportunity Employer", and whose paperwork for the job even includes a code number for hard-of-hearing #16. So they have a code for it, but are now denying me a job because of the same. Yeah, I'm surprised. I know I should not be, but some things are just ridiculous. I could have been off unemployment, and working on Sept. 28 if things had gone as they were supposed to go.

Oh yes, I also realize that having a job where the pay comes from the government is not really a good thing. But at this point in time, a job is a job, I do not care who is paying for it. In the near future when the whole thing comes atumbling down, it will not matter one wit to any of us. But the money from a job can at least allow me to do a bit of preparing for that eventuality.

Anonymous's picture

You're in deep doo doo. Just a little higher in the septic tank sludge line.

lizzy36's picture

change you can believe in......

the good news is, fed and treasury are going to spend their time in a turf fight over who gets to regulate executive compensation. each coming up with competing schemes (like it fucking matters).

meanwhile, GS is busy advising the government on regulatory matters. 

Not surprisingly a focus of the meeting, it was clear that senior management is spending an exorbitant amount of time thinking about potential regulatory and policy outcomes and educating regulators and policymakers on the intricacies of financial markets. There is still considerable uncertainty on most fronts, and while the company is actively involved in the debate, it is not planning for any particular changes. Management noted that the regulatory discussion has become much more rational and less heated as debate has shifted to the details of achieving the objectives of the administration, Congress and legislators. In those exchanges, in which GS has been actively taking part, relevant parties are gaining a better appreciation of the complexity of markets and the risks of unintended consequences.

and finally to give all their laught for the day:

 10/22 01:38PM *DJ Fed's Dudley: Fed May Well Avoid Any Credit Loss On Emergency Lending

AR's picture

LIZZY / Your post caught our eye. Could you expand your thought process? You wrote: Not surprisingly a focus of the meeting (what meeting), it was clear that senior management (of/with who) is spending an exorbitant amount of time thinking about potential regulatory and policy outcomes and educating regulators and policymakers on the intricacies of financial markets. There is still considerable uncertainty on most fronts, and while the company (???) is actively involved in the debate, it is not planning for any particular changes.  Thanks...

Who are you referring to when you speak of the "company"?

ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Spin?  This statistic won't even be reported.

cougar_w's picture

To speak the name of the Devil is to summon him.

It's an end-game. No need to wallow in it. Drink the Koolaid, you'll feel better.

Marvin the Mindreader's picture

Nothing is unspinnable ... Slick Barry's economic trollette Romer was out today saying that the stimulus had saved or created 600K to 1.5MM jobs ...

ghostfaceinvestah's picture

How many jobs are there in the US?  Why don't they take credit for saving all of them?  According to Paulson, if we hadn't passed TARP, we would all be living in caves by now, so likewise the stimulus must have saved at least half the jobs in this country.

sgt_doom's picture

You know, I've been wondering lately where this wireless is coming from, I certainly didn't realize my cave was equipped with it......

cougar_w's picture

Might wanna try the red pill next time.

Anonymous's picture

The class of 2009 is at the 5, almost 6 month mark. It's starting to become crunch time for student loans repayment.
For every decent job there are way more applicants than there would be 2 - 3 years ago.

Assistants and entry level people's work is just being done by management now to help save money.

I don't have parents that can get me a job.

sgt_doom's picture

But Anon, dood, we live in a "meritocracy" where you don't require anyone to "get you a job" --- where "networking" (i.e., nepotism) isn't necessary.......

chet's picture

Hang in there.  You have youth and flexibility, which are powerful things.  Just keep looking in a broad number of fields, move if you have to. 

If your parents can't help, think broader about your network of friends and contacts.  Keep up with as many people from college as possible and keep track of what they're doing/ where they're working.