I usually don't keep track of this stuff, only because I don't trust government statistics as far as I can throw 'em, but the media is abuzz with the latest jobs report, which is pretty dismal. I think that they were forecasting around 100 thousand new jobs created or thereabouts; only 18 thousand were actually created according to the report. Unemployment is now up to 9.2% (which is very conservative; the actual number is much higher).
I am confused as to why anyone in the halls of power (be it Washington or Wall Street) would expect that there would be any robust job creation whatsoever. I guess they have such a vested interest in believing their own bullshit or something. Between quantitative easing (creating money from thin air), the stimulus and all this other stuff, it is pathetic to think that this is the best that could have been done. I think that this is a big confidence killer for business, and for the population in general.
More than one person I've read of has compared these economic times to the Five Stages of Grief (the Kubler-Ross Model, which consists of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance). For a long time, most of us have been in the "denial" phase. A lot of people I talk to about this always think that "things will get better"; I'm guessing it's based on the fact that we have had recessions before and have always bounced back, so we will just do the same this time. I see that starting to change, as more and more people begin to see that there will be no "recovery" coming for them, and then the anger phase sets in.
Along with the dismal jobs report, the corporate news media is talking about industries in which there is demand for workers. I strongly believe that this is another scam. Their goal is to trumpet these "growing industries" to the unemployed, get them to go back to school (taking out huge loans in the process), and create a glut of workers in that industry, which lowers the wages in that field.
This also ties in with all the bedlam concerning the "debt ceiling". If the ceiling isn't raised, or some deal is struck to significantly cut the deficit, many jobs in the public sector will be lost, making the unemployment problem much worse. But on the other hand, continued borrowing at the magnitude that we have been borrowing will lead to continued price shocks in energy and food, causing even more pain to the working class. I do think these two issues in tandem (debt ceiling and unemployment) will be a gamechanger.