Optimism in the unemployment landscape
I found this Interactive map of the Unemployment Rate in the United States.
It's interesting to see that some regions are faring better than others. The interactive feature invites the imagining of what's going on in individual states. Michigan's downturn is easy to pinpoint. Utah is the largest of the unaffected areas. This makes me think about Mormons and the importance they place on savings.
Also of note is Bad Things (or Layoffs) Happen to Other people, which reports from a survey:
Four out of five employed adults say they are not concerned about being laid off from their job in the next six months.
Our nation's unemployment rate is now at 7.25% according to a huge, bold—but blue—headline on Huffington Post.
I get asked regularly from Californian friends, "How are things in Austin, Texas?" I usually respond back, "Things are OK. Some of my friends got laid off, but it doesn't sound nearly as bad as in California."
Good news during bad times can come off as callous, so that's probably why there's this disconnect between the mainstream media and reality. Wikipedia has a list of countries and their unemployment figures. A few notable countries had higher unemployment rates than us around 2007: Germany, France, Spain, and Portugal.