Are you looking for a job? According to a new survey, so is the rest of the world.
The numbers are kind of bleak. Last week, unemployment claims fell below 400,000 for the fourth week in a row. Which seems like good news, especially since the ranks of those receiving unemployment benefits declined to a three-year low.
But the U-6, which is the broadest measure of unemployment remains near 17 percent. And the reason the unemployment ranks are dwindling is that after three years, benefits are running out for a lot of people.
So goes the benefits, so goes the hope. And, that’s precisely the point of Joseph Quinlan, chief market strategist of U.S. Trust. He sees a global unemployment crisis brewing, and that has profound implications not only for the stock market, but for possible outbreaks of civil unrest.
After all, when folks are hungry, feel as though their government has forsaken them, and have lots of unscripted time on their hands, civil unrest is always a possibility.
According to the International Labor Organization, as capsulized in Alan Abelson’s excellent commentary this week in Barron’s, “The world must add 80 million jobs over 2012 and 2013 just to get back to where employment was in 2007.” Developed nations need to generate 27.2 million jobs in the next two years just to get back to where they were.
Will it happen? Probably only a fraction (perhaps nothing more than 10 percent) of these jobs will materialize and that’s the problem. If we don’t buy from abroad, they can’t buy from us. It’s a big mess and can easily cause civil and international unrest.
There’s a lot of talk about the Occupy Wall Street movement (which is now in something like 900+ cities around the world) is unfocused and doesn’t have a clear message or messenger.
I’m not arguing that point. But the vague unrest is coming into starker relief. All this movement needs is the leadership of an orator on the order of a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to really crystalize. Once again, if folks are hungry and have too much unstructured time on their hands, they’ll find ways to fill the time, and it might not be coming up with a solution to cold fusion.
HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE OCC
If you are having a problem with your lender (Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, CitiMortgage), you can file a complaint with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) which regulates the country’s largest lenders.
Go to HelpWithMyBank.gov and file a complaint. You can check on the status of your complaint by using the case number you’re given (don’t lose it). If you don’t hear anything, please send me your case number, your complete contact information and a brief summary of what has happened and I’ll try to escalate your complaint for you.
Equifax Finance Blog
We’ve relaunched the Equifax Finance Blog and there is absolutely amazing personal finance information written by qualified experts who will answer your questions and help you out – that’s especially useful as we head toward the end of the year, with all of the inherent tax and finance implications. Check it out – and recommend it to your friends.
Gobble Gobble – Ilyce’s Turkey Recipe
Follow the link for Another Helping of my Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe. I’ll tweet a photo of it on Thursday afternoon!