Although the gap between the rich and poor is growing wider and wider in the US, most anyone around the world considers the American economy to be strong. Among other indicators, the GNI per capita in America is $47,240, which is about eight times as much as the average Chinese individual.
How does the world recession affect the American economy? Specifically, how widespread is employment? According to the official US unemployment rate throughout most of 2010, about 9-10% of Americans were unemployed.
Upon closer scrutiny the numbers are far worse. The US Bureau of Labor only counts Americans who are out of work and have actively looked for a job in the past four weeks. This means that people who suffer long-term unemployment - those who have not bothered to look for work in the past four weeks - are left out. Rather, these workers are "marginally attached" or "discouraged." If you consider everyone that doesn't have a full-time job, the number climbs to 17%.
There are a lot of people out of work: one person in seven. Small wonder I get several calls about employment issues each week.
Finally, note those who suffer from feelings of job insecurity, difficult work environments, and underemployment in addition to the number unemployed.