Josh Udell, in his letter of June 5, suggests the U.S. recession is a myth, stating the news media is wrong again. Incidentally, the news media is quoting data obtained from government agencies and leading economists. Likely, Warren Buffett has Josh under his spell. The unemployment rate is the key definition to a recession. The country needs to create 100,000 jobs per month for the unemployment rate to remain fixed.

Year to date, 324,000 Americans have lost their jobs. In May of this year, there was a net loss of 43,000 jobs, the highest one-month loss in 22 years. On May 6, the price of oil increased $10.10 per barrel — fueled by the low value of the U.S. dollar — the biggest one-day hike ever. Consequently, the Dow Jones average fell 394 points.

Since Jan. 1, 2008, the cost per barrel of oil has increased nearly 45 percent. Basically, our high unemployment rate is primarily attributed to the mortgage melt-down, high cost of petroleum and inflated commodity prices. Oil analysts are predicting the price per barrel of oil will reach $150 by this July.

While the writer sees a glimmer of light in our uncharted waters, I’ve yet to see this beacon of light. I’ll remind Josh of the old saying — when your neighbor loses his job, it’s a recession; when you lose yours, it’s a depression. Regardless, our country is in the midst of a recession. If you have doubts, just ask any of the millions of unemployed Americans, and they’ll readily agree it’s an actuality.

Jim Williams

Joplin

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