Homeowner equity and other signs of tight times
Economist Charles W. McMillion made this graph putting into context the country's record-low homeowner equity in the first three months of the year:
That's one of the issues I mentioned in today's story about the variety of new economic measures confirming that you're not alone if you're feeling budgetary pain. Here's a taste:
The unemployment rate rose 0.5 percent in May, to 5.5 percent, the biggest one-month jump since early 1986, the federal government said yesterday. Continued job cuts are putting adults out of work and leaving in the lurch many teenagers looking for summer income.
Meanwhile, net worth is falling as people's homes lose value. Americans were worth $1.7 trillion less in the first quarter than they were at the end of last year, the Federal Reserve said this week. Household debt compared with net worth? At record highs.
If you hold stocks in a retirement account or outright, yesterday brought more bad news: The Dow Jones industrial average fell nearly 400 points, while the Standard & Poor's 500 and Nasdaq composite indexes both shed about 3 percent.