Washington (CNN) – It is not enough to say the economy is "struggling," "hurting," "sluggish" or "slow."
In this week's American Sauce, we nail down the specifics on our economic health: income, spending, GDP and jobs (now and future). And we look at a core problem, still: housing. We'll introduce you to a woman who's part of the next large group to face foreclosure (conventional loans on moderate homes). She personally demonstrates that all that talk of loan modifications has led to a tangled system of obstacles.
Click here to listen, or keep reading for a quick, bulleted list.
American Sauce's economic check-up:
* Personal bankruptcies: 1.5 million individuals applied for bankruptcy in the year between Sept. 2009 and Sept. 2010. That was a nearly 14 percent increase from the year before.
* Business bankruptcies: 58,322 businesses applied for bankruptcy in that time. Notably, that was a slight decrease of less than 1 percent from the year before.
* Bankruptcy stats: Look through them for yourself at http://www.uscourts.gov/Statistics/BankruptcyStatistics.aspx
* Unemployment rate: 9.8 percent in November, up from 9.6 percent in October.
* Those on unemployment rolls: 15.1 million people.
* Those not counted in unemployment rate: Up to 5 million. That includes as many as 3.5 million who have maxed out unemployment benefits and 1.3 million workers who have stopped filing paperwork for unemployment benefits, saying they do not believe they can find a job and have given up.
NOTE: there are no reliable figures on how many "99'ers" exist. From the Labor Department, we know 3.5 million people have fallen off the unemployment rolls but we do not know how many of them have found a job and how many are still unemployed.
* Unemployment Stats: Here are the latest – http://bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
* Personal income: Went up slightly in November, rising 0.5 percent in November.
* Personal spending: Also increased last month, going up 0.4 percent.
* Income/spending stats can be found here from the Bureau of Economic Advisors: http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/pi/pinewsrelease.htm
* New home sales: Dropped another 8.1 percent in October. It was a drop of 28.5 percent from a year before and a plummet of 80 percent from the height of the housing boom.
* New home prices: Average sales price was $194,900 in October, 13.9 percent lower than in September.
* Existing home sales: Slid 2.2 percent in October.
* Existing home prices: Averaged $170,000 in October.
* More on new home numbers from CNNMoney: http://money.cnn.com/2010/11/24/real_estate/new_home_sales/index.htm
* More on existing homes from CNNMoney: http://money.cnn.com/2010/11/23/real_estate/home_sales_slow/index.htm
For more stats, including the latest figure on Gross Domestic Product, click here for this week's American Sauce podcast:
Hmm, I know I'm not stupid but I thought this would have something to do with Health Care/Medical statistics, etc.?????? I guess I am stupid!!
Since no one in government is doing anything about unemployment, don't expect any of that negative picture to be altered in the next 2 yrs. whatsoever. (You guys left out the underemployed, which is about another 7-8% of the population.)