Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Silver Lining

At the end of this week, we'll get the next unemployment figures. Might want to start bracing yourself now. No matter what the jobs report says, I expect both sides to spin the heck out of it.

Personally, I don't expect much to get excited about on Friday. I was just reading in the New York Times that the ratio of job seekers to job openings is 6 to 1 — the worst it has been since the government started tracking it.

I figure that, if there is another modest drop in joblessness, it will prove to be a temporary lull, like the others. It will merely be evidence that the house is still burning down, just slower than it was.

For that matter, it could be a sign that some of those who were receiving unemployment benefits are no longer receiving them. Whether they got jobs would be beside the point.

Need a silver lining?

Well, it ain't much, but here goes.

Gas prices are down.

Yep, gas prices have been declining since August 7 — nearly two months now.

And, if there is anything good to be said about high joblessness, it is this: "Demand is down due to the recession and mounting unemployment."

Consequently, says Lundberg Survey publisher Trilby Lundberg, "there's nowhere for gasoline prices to go but down."

You aren't saving a fortune — about 12 cents per gallon. But that beats paying 12 cents more per gallon.

Doesn't it?

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