How Unemployment Numbers Are Mixing Recession Messages

June 2009
Unemployment in Colorado rose in May, sending another mixed signal about how the state is weathering the recession. The rate stands at 7.6 percent as of May, according to The Denver Post. That's up from 7.4 percent in April, when economists hoped unemployment was rebounding. But, once again, it could be worse. Unemployment across the nation is at 9.4 percent, and several Western states, such as Nevada and Oregon, have logged unemployment in the double digits. Nationally, the number of people receiving unemployment insurance dropped for the first time since January, according to The New York Times, which notes that in some cases people are simply exhausting their benefits. At the same time, new claims rose. Meanwhile, health-care costs are soaring--expected to rise by 9 percent next year. If so, 2010 will be the third consecutive year that costs have increased by roughly the same percentage, according to the Denver Business Journal, as medical costs outpace inflation and wage increases. At least Coloradans with jobs are able to benefit from a new law that encourages granting time off for family and personal reasons, writes The Wall Street Journal.