Friday, December 5, 2008

The Stamp Act

The number of people using food stamps in September surpassed the previous peak of 29.85 million seen in November 2005 when victims of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma received emergency benefits, and anti-hunger groups said the economic downturn is the main reason behind the higher figures. One in 10 Americans participated in the food stamp program as of September.

If food stamps are the new bread and soup lines, which in fact they are, then this really doesn't bode well for the current economic climate. Today's labor report shows one-and-a-quarter million jobs lost in the past three months, and I seriously doubt that those folks have found jobs lately. The most interesting piece of the labor report to me, though, was that the average number of hours worked in a week slipped to 33.5 hours, the shortest since records began in 1964.

David and I still have jobs, though his company did a major restructuring. Currently, the news is still quite positive at my place of employ, but I know that a current major client is weighing the possibility of not renewing. In any event, it looks as though we are safe for now. If mortgage rates hit 4.5%, I'll be the first in line.