Unemployment

Here’s is Calculated Risk’s version of the scariest chart. It shows the change in employment as a percent since the peak employment near the beginning of the recession; for this recession, that’s Dec 2007. Don’t forget that the years up to 2007 weren’t particularly good as there was no net gain of jobs in spite of increasing population.
Inflation is at 2.2% which is lower then usual.
The dotted line is employment with the census workers taken out.

Employment an Recessions May 20101

Art theft in Paris

Someone stole 5 paintings from Paris Museum of Modern Art:

The stolen works, part of the museum’s permanent collection, were “Dove With Green Peas” by Picasso, “La Pastorale” by Matisse, “Olive Tree Near l’Estaque” by Georges Braque, “Woman With a Fan” by Amedeo Modigliani and “Still Life With Chandeliers” by Fernand Léger.

It doesn’t sound very high-tech:

According to the authorities, surveillance images show a hooded man, dressed in black, who smashed through a window and then used bolt cutters to remove a grid.

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Unemployment post-recession

This graph has been making the rounds (I got it from Barry Ritholtz’s). It shows the percentage change in unemployment (Y-axis) and the months since the official start of the recession.
What’s particularly dramatic about this is employment continues to worsen and over a much longer period of time than past recessions. E.g. this recession is going to be deeper and longer than past ones.

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What I don’t like about this chart is that it is the percentage change in a rate. For example, the unemployment in 1960 was ~6%. A 50% increase brings it up to 9%. In 2007, unemployment was 4.5%. A 100% increase brings it up to 9%, too.

Closer to a new car?

It’s one step closer to happening! Getting a new car based on a trade in might actually happen. It hasn’t passed the House yet (much less the Senate) but the leadership of both parties agree on doing it.
From House Reaches a Deal on ‘Cash for Clunkers’ Program:

Under the House plan, a car trade-in that improves fuel efficiency by at least 10 miles per gallon would qualify for a $4,500 voucher, as would the trade-in of a small truck that improves efficiency by 5 miles per gallon. The new vehicle must have a minimum fuel efficiency rating of 22 miles per gallon for cars and 18 miles per gallon for small trucks.