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April 17, 2008

Keeping in mind the good numbers

We're hearing many bad economic numbers today. The unemployment rate is rising. Job growth is slowing, and home foreclosures have set records in some regions. Is there any way to look at these numbers in a good light? Listen

Dr. Mike Walden, North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, responds:

"You’re always going to keep these numbers in perspective. For example, when you hear that the unemployment rate has gone up to 5 percent, recognize that this means that the employment rate - the number of people employed - is at 95 percent. Or when we hear that home foreclosures have set a record, note that that means that 3 percent of all home loans are resulting in foreclosing, meaning that 97 percent of homeowners with loans are not having any problems. Likewise, in North Carolina when we hear that job growth is slowing, the unemployment rate is going up, recognize that we're still adding jobs, just not as fast. So for the vast majority of households, yes, we are in a downturn, maybe in a recession, but most people will keep their jobs. They are going to keep their homes; they are not going to be put out on the street. This is not to minimize the effects of an economic slowdown, but it is trying to keep things in perspective."

Posted by Dave at April 17, 2008 07:57 AM