Hope for Our Economy is often the message I see in my local newspaper.
I'm all for keeping a positive attitude, but I think these articles are blowing smoke up our collective asses.
The Yahoo article states that "[Unemployment benefit claims] remain near their lowest level in two years." And because of this, and some other convoluted measure of unemployment benefit claims, there is once again "encouragement for the economy."
I'm sick and tired of hearing how unemployment benefit claim numbers are improving, and thus signalling an improvement in our economy. To anyone who has half a brain, these numbers don't mean diddly squat.
Why? Because these numbers don't count a plethora of people.
Who? People who are underemployed.
Anyone who took a pay cut (i.e. salaried workers with furlough days).
Anyone who works less hours than they used to (including loss of overtime).
People who are staying at a job they HATE because there are no better options (Military retention at historic highs).
People who are employed less than their skill level (i.e. working as a cashier at the grocery store rather than an accounts payable clerk).
And finally, people whose benefits have run out. (Please notice the first quote above - "lowest level in TWO YEARS." No one gets benefits past two years, so of course there are less benefits been paid.)
It is annoying that the media and the politicians and the economists think the general population is too stupid to know when they are feeding us a bunch of bullshit.
I wish they would just be honest - America's economy is NEVER going to be what it was, and that's OKAY. But that's really a whole different issue :)