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How’s it going, America?

Six months into 2009, and 18 months into the current recession, it’s time for a brief little evaluation to see how we are doing in the U.S. The issues we report on below are those of greatest concern according to Americans polled for various media over the past five months.

Facts below provide you a quick snapshot of just where we are.

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that unemployment increased by 787,000 to 14.5 million in May 2009 for an unemployment rate of 9.4 percent. The number of unemployed individuals has doubled since the recession began. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 268,000 over the month to 3.9 million and has tripled since the start of the recession.

    U.S. Unemployment Rate: 01/1999 - 05/2009

    U.S. Unemployment Rate: 01/1999 – 05/2009

  • As reported in early 2008 by Health Affairs researchers, 2007 U.S. health care spending growth slowed to its lowest rate since 1998, increasing 6.1 percent to $2.2 trillion, or $7,421 per person. As reported in March 2009 by Kaiser Family Foundation, about ten percent of people account for 63 percent of “health spend;” 21 percent of health dollars ate spent on only 1 percent of the population; and the one-half of the population with the lowest health spending accounts for just over 3 percent of spending. Kaiser anticipates per capita health spend for 2009 at approximately $8,160.
  • Gross spending by the government has increased steadily as has the federal deficit.Total U.S. Spending Fiscal Years 1994 to 2014
  • From Luke Mullins, The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that the delinquency rate for mortgages on homes reached a record high in the first quarter of 2009, jumping to 9.12 percent of all loans–up 2.77 percentage points from a year earlier. Also, the percentage of loans in the foreclosure process increased 1.38 percentage points to 3.85 percent–another record.
  • Yep, pretty disheartening. But, after a year and a half, it’s time to move forward with your marketing strategy, your next sales effort, your next aggressive move. Smart marketers are using this “down time” to their strategic advantage – and so should you. Great ideas abound out there. Is yours among them?

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