A few seperate items are starting to come together and give me a feeling this summer could be interesting.
There have been a number of mass murders in the last few months. I'm always curious about their motives. A common thread in many of the murders was the man had lost his job. Men's sense of self worth is often tied to their job. When they lose their jobs it leads to anger. Many times they take this anger out through violence.
I went to my local Wal-Mart this morning and was surprised to see it under renovation. I was particularly irritated by the fact that they had removed the self checkout lanes. As I waited in line for 15 minutes for the clueless cashier to ring up 4 items for the person in front of me, I asked the cashier why they got rid of the self checkout lanes. She said it was because the stealing was too much. It clicked that with unemployment rising, crime will increase as the unemployed become more desperate.
Then I read a blurb in Barron's called Teen Angst Heating Up. Some interesting items:
- Fewer than 1 million teenagers will get a job this summer for the 1st time since 1954
- Only 19.7% of graduating college seniors have jobs versus 26% last year and 51% in 2007.
- Teenage unemployment is 22%, versus 15% last year.
I did a little more research at BLS.gov and found some more disturbing info:
- The unemployment rate for all Black people is 15% versus 8.8% last year and 8.4% in 2007. The unemployment rate for Black teenagers is 34.7%.
- The unemployment rate for all Hispanics is 11.3% versus 7.0% last year and 5.5% in 2007.
- California's unemployment rate is 11.5% verus 6.5% last year, an increase of 960,000. LA is up from 5.8% to 10.6%. SF/Oakland is up from 4.9% to 9.5%.
- Michigan's unemployment rate is 13.4% versus 7.9% last year, an increase of 260,000. Detroit is up from 8% to 14%.
- Florida's unemployment rate is 9.5% verus 5.0% last year, an increase of 410,000. Miami is up from 4.8% to 8.5%.
- Illinois' unemployment rate is 9.4% versus 5.9% last year, an increase of 220,000. Chicago is up from 5.6% to 9.4%.
- New York's unemployment rate is 8.1% versus 5.0% last year, an increase of 310,000. NYC is up from 4.6% to 8.2%.
- Pennsylvania's unemployment rate is 8.2% verus 5.2% last year, an increase of 200,000. Phila is up from 4.8% verus 8.1%.
With this many angry desperate people on the streets this summer, it won't take much of a spark in any of our major urban areas to create riots, violence and crime. I don't see this on anyone's radar.