There’s the old adage that things will get worse before they get better, or that something must hit rock bottom before bouncing back. And pundits and economists and analysts have been sounding the alarm bell for months: The economic downturn is only in Stage 1 collapse. On Tuesday, chief economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association Jay Brinkman warned industry folks that the mortgage crisis could last well beyond 2009, and added that the MBA is forecasting unemployment will rise to 7.8 percent by early 2010 before more jobs are added.
In Minnesota, where the unemployment rate currently hovers at 5.7 percent (the country is currently at 6.0 percent), nearly 30,000 jobs are expected to disappear in the next year, according to a Star Tribune story about the latest employment forecast by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Security. That means, according to the Strib, that over the next year the number of additional people looking for jobs will total 60,000, or the equivalent of the population of Burnsville.
The silver (or is it the tin?) lining in all of these dark clouds? At least it won’t be like 1982, when Minnesota’s workforce was reduced by 6 percent. That’s the year Reagan and Bush One were in the White House, unemployment rose to 7.6 percent, and a new home cost only about $83,900. Suddenly this is all sounding eerily familiar.