The economy: Worse than we think?

Andy Matthews

So said Mort Zuckerman yesterday, writing for the Wall Street Journal:

Job losses may last well into 2010 to hit an unemployment peak close to 11%. That unemployment rate may be sustained for an extended period.

Can we find comfort in the fact that employment has long been considered a lagging indicator? It is conventionally seen as having limited predictive power since employment reflects decisions taken earlier in the business cycle. But today is different. Unemployment has doubled to 9.5% from 4.8% in only 16 months, a rate so fast it may influence future economic behavior and outlook.

Just more evidence of the stimulus’ inability to improve economic conditions. Not that anyone should be surprised.