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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

December 2, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Vote: How have hard times affected your home business?

Unemployment dropped to 8.6 percent in November from 9 percent, but the economy only added 120,000 net new jobs. The U-6 “real” unemployment rate fell to 15.6 percent from 16.2 percent. The Wall Street Journal has a good explainer as to the why. The new jobs added were barely enough to keep up with the natural growth of the labor force, much less make up for the Great Recession losses. And, as the New York Times reports in a must-read story, few unemployed Americans have a chance of restoring their old income.

A reader suggests coming at unemployment from a different angle. She writes:

Ask questions that would bring to light those of us who, before the economic meltdown, were self-employed and had relatively successful full-time or part-time home-based businesses, and discover how many of us are now completely or nearly out of business but do not show up in the official head counts of the unemployed for various reasons. Many of us worked to supplement our family’s income, but were not the major breadwinners and so have simply stopped doing what we had been doing and have not applied for any kind of unemployment assistance, nor are we actively looking for other

jobs (they don’t exist, anyway). Even if the family’s main breadwinner is still employed, our total income has gone down and we are cutting back.

So, today’s poll:

My self-employment situation

Read on for the links of the week and the haiku:

The Week’s Links:

Comments | More in Jobs/Unemployment, Small business

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The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


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