JOBS

Unemployment Still Rising

The national unemployment rate is already at a 25-year high of 8.5 percent, and Bloomberg reports it's bound to get worse. Large employers like the US Postal Service are cutting their payrolls, and the crackdown on auto industry expenditures could mean more layoffs, especially if GM lands in bankruptcy. What's more, the LA Times notes that the "real" unemployment rate could be high as 15.6 percent, according to the Labor Department's own statistics. Why the disparity? Among those who count as "employed" are "marginally attached workers" (people who don't work but indicate that they have a tie to an employer that could call them back in the near future), "discouraged workers" (the long-term unemployed), and the undemployed. With six states facing dougle-digit unemployment, The Nation argues that joblessness is a "wake-up call" for Obama: The markets may be up, but his work on the economy is not done, yet.