The XX Factor

Recession Briefing 9.28

The unemployment rate for young Americans (aged 16 to 24, excluding students) has exploded to 52.2 percent - a post-World War II high, according to the Labor Dept. ( New York Post )

As challenging as it is for anyone to find a good job in this economy, it can be even harder for people out of work a long time. Skills atrophy. Demoralization sets in and can become permanent. Some potential employers shy away. ( Wall Street Journal )

In perhaps the most concrete evidence to date that the recession is abating, some workers are getting their salaries restored after enduring painful pay cuts over the last year . ( CNN/Money )

The recession is bringing major cutbacks to one of the more famously profligate companies in the media industry: Condé Nast. ( New York Times )

Economists since the mid-1990s have reckoned that full employment was equivalent to about a 5 percent unemployment rate, taking into account the time required to switch jobs. Now two top economist say the so-called natural rate is higher, perhaps 7 percent. ( Bloomberg )

It’s hard to gauge how the Great Recession has impacted our culture : How we interact, how we entertain ourselves, how we worship, what we wear and buy and read and watch. ( Associated Press )

Big job losses and a spike in early retirement claims from laid-off seniors will force Social Security to pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes the next two years , the first time that’s happened since the 1980s. ( Associated Press )

Candidates, consultants and fundraisers say the sharp economic downturn has shrunk the pool of traditional donors to whom they turn for money - and made those who are still giving reluctant to make commitments early in the campaign. ( Las Vegas Sun )

“Thank goodness the recession is over and the economy is on the way back up,” writes Steve Rubenstein. “That’s the word from the experts, the analysts and the pooh-bahs. If only someone could pass the word to everybody left over. ” ( San Francisco Chronicle )

Charles Salak was laid off in August, along with two-thirds of his co-workers, by a wind-tower maker in Columbus, Neb. The company, like its workers, is waiting for jobs to come in so that it can rehire them. ( New York Times )