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Here is something interesting to consider: Since President Eisenhower left office, the only periods that US unemployment has held above 6% for more than 3 consecutive quarters began in October 1974, October 1979 and November 1990 respectively. The start of each of these periods of sustained higher levels of unemployment was also accompanied by initial claims spikes which exceeded the typical seasonal inflections.

The bailout bill has passed, but the liquidity that it will inject into credit markets won’t come soon enough for many small business and service industry employers across the country who face an ugly cycle of cutbacks at year end.

Andrew Barber