Hey! But at least they're coming back up a little!
Time out for a quick economic post, with help from The Big Picture (Barry Ritholtz's fine economic and investing blog).
Barry today has some pretty good analysis of where the economy and unemployment is:
...So long as we are popping economic myths, let's also dispatch with the 4.5% unemployment rate. That number has been largely caused by several million exhaustees and others simply leaving the work force...
The actual unemployment rate is closer to 6.5%. And if we measured it the way the Europeans do, its closer to 8%. This explains why wages and labor costs have remained subdued despite the alleged 4.5% UE measure.
Anyone with more than 4 functioning brain cells should be able to figure out that a 4.5% unemployment rate would be causing huge labor shortages and wage increases.
Instead, the average income gain is merely a measure of inflation: reported gains reflect increased costs for medical care -- the exact same coverage (but with a higher copay) which costs 15% more year-over-year shows up as increased total wages.
In animation land -- as in the entertainment business generally -- employment/unemployment is way more pronounced.
Employees go from sizable salaries (relative to the national average) to unemployment in three-month, six-month, nine-month cycles. Small wonder the stress levels get so high in Toon Town. The man or woman collecting eighteen hundred or two thousand per week today might well be down registering at the Employment Development Department tomorrow.
"Project to project" is a major theme among industry workers. And the anthem in-between the work? "Bleeding ulcer to bleeding ulcer."