Business Bankruptcies Up Twenty Percent On Last Month

The jobs picture was actually starting to look sunny again! But how can that be with all those bankruptcies?

From February to March, an interesting thing happened. Some might think that the snow finally melted, or the crocuses emerged, or maybe someone spotted a robin. This particular bit of news, however, is much worse.

From February to March, you see, fully twenty percent more businesses filed for commercial bankruptcy.

In February, fully 6,655 businesses declared...and in March, the number climbed to 8,208. This huge number represents just over a third of total filings for the year so far, which in turn weighs in at a whopping 21,453.

What caused this sudden spike? No one's quite sure, but most are pointing to a soft overall economy and credit issues. What's even more interesting, however, is how this announcement comes on the heels of a job market that's actually been seen to improve.

I think what's happened here is the bizarre chicanery of the unemployment scale. Remember a couple things that affect "unemployment" numbers:

1. Anyone with any job of any time doesn't count in the base. So all those folks with their new temporary census jobs? They're "employed"...just not for long.

2. Anyone who's been unemployed long enough doesn't count either. They go from "unemployed" to "discouraged", and suddenly vanish from the unemployment count. Ask anyone who's made that transition if the pay's the same and they'll tell you it is (at least, if they didn't get unemployment checks).

3. Self-employed? You don't count either. In many small businesses, it's common practice to employ only independent contractors, who are all, once again, self-employed.

So with businesses shuttering their doors, it's likely that a lot of people who wouldn't have counted to begin with (part time and self employed) didn't show up, and the government's hiring counted for unemployment drops.

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