Unemployment will almost certainly hit double-digits next year -- and may remain there for some time. And for every person who shows up as unemployed in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' household survey, you can bet there's another either too discouraged to look for work, or working part-time who'd rather have a full-time job or else taking home less pay than before (I'm in the last category, now that the University of California has instituted pay cuts). And there's yet another person who's more fearful that he or she will be next to lose a job.
In other words, ten percent unemployment really means twenty percent underemployment or anxious employment. All of which translates directly into late payments on mortgages, credit cards, auto and student loans, and loss of health insurance. It also means sleeplessness for tens of millions of Americans. And, of course, fewer purchases (more on this in a moment).
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