Economic Doom, By the Numbers

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Unemployment, misery, workplace dissatisfaction, the disappearing American Dream, forecasts of another Great Depression … Yikes!

Here’s a roundup of factoids and survey stats indicating that the economy isn’t looking so hot, to put it mildly.

10 The median number of weeks jobseekers were unemployed in 2010 before eventually finding work. By contrast, in 2007, the median was just five weeks. The typical unemployed person gave up the job hunt and dropped out of the workforce if failing to find employment by about 20 weeks in 2010, compared to 8.5 weeks in 2007.

24 The percentage of Americans who have currently a six-month emergency fund. An equal percentage of those surveyed (24%) say they have no emergency savings whatsoever.

26 Percentage of American manufacturers predicting the economy will get worse in the next six months. That’s up from just 3% in February. Four in ten manufacturers predicted the economy will improve over the next half-year, down from 60% in February.

28 The number of years ago that the Misery Index—which combines unemployment and inflation to give an indication how much the average American is suffering—was as high as it is right now.

(MORE: How Miserable Are You?)

48 Percentage of Americans in a recent poll who say that another Great Depression is likely to occur in the next year.

53 The percentage of U.S. employees unhappy with their workplaces. Only 32% of them, however, say they are seriously considering leaving their jobs, while the rest are apparently prepared to suck it up, aware that if there are other options out there, they’re not much better.

61 Percentage of those surveyed in a recent Principal Financial Group poll who say the American Dream will be harder to achieve for today’s workers. The dream is being defined as having a good job, owning a home, living in a safe community, and sending your children to decent schools.

74 The percentage of Americans who say the hectic, chaotic pace of life today makes it difficult to remain focused on long-term goals. Among financial goals, the two top priorities of those surveyed were “maintaining a comfortable standard of living during retirement” and “not falling below your current standard of living.” This is interesting in itself—because it’s easier to retire comfortably if you save more today by make sacrificing your current standard of living. But apparently it’s difficult to use such basic logic in today’s hectic, fast-paced world.

(MORE: Inflation Picks Up: Are Rising Consumer Prices Good for the Economy?)

$9,950 The price of new bargain-rate doomsday bunkers—cheap compared to luxury $35K models—being marketed by one California company to those who want to be prepared for the apocalypse.

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