It's now one in 10, probably more. Take a walk and glance around. You'll probably see someone in need of a job. Within two blocks of my house, I know four who are unemployed—and those are just the neighbors I know.
The Labor Department's release, which pegged October's unemployment rate at 10.2 percent, caught many off guard Friday. Most thought the rate would reach that point someday, but not so soon. During the past year, durable goods manufacturing unemployment more than doubled, from 5.9 percent to 12.9, the highest rate of any sector the labor department tracks.
Break it down a bit more and the picture doesn't look quite as dire. In September 2008 the fabricated metal products sector employed 1.280 million; in October 2009 it was 1.275. And get this: Employment related to motor vehicles and parts actually increased by more than 4 percent. Could the sector finally be bouncing back?
I know I'm hunting for diamonds in the rough here. Heck, I'd be pleased with cubic zirconium at this point.