Some glimpse in the the mind set of the US.
While the government reports numbers, you likely know a real face, a real story, a real person who is behind these statistics.
Do you know someone affected by these numbers? How can you communicate the peace of Christ to them? Read on.
In January, 598,000 workers lose their jobs, pushing the unemployment rate to 7.6%, the biggest for any single month since 1974. Include the idled workers and the under employed, the unemployment rate comes in at nearly 14%, according to the labor department.
Economists expect the job losses to continue for months to come and the unemployment rate to top 9% before improving. Since the beginning of this recession, the economy has shed 3.6 million jobs. (LA Times 2/7/09)
Bloomberg reports (reprinted in the Richmond Times Dispatch 2/3/09) reports that a record 19 million U.S. houses stood empty at the end of 2008 as banks seized homes faster than they could sell them and prices continued to fall.
The fourth quarter’s all-time high was 6.7 percent above a year ago when 17.8 million properties were vacant, the U.S. Census Bureau said in a report today. The vacancy rate, the share of empty homes for sale, rose to 2.9 percent in the last quarter, the most in data that goes back to 1956.
U.S. banks owned $11.5 billion of homes they seized from delinquent borrowers at the end of the third quarter, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in Washington. That’s up from $5.4 billion a year ago.
Credit Card Debt
The USA Today (2/6/09) reports credit card delinquencies are hitting record highs as more borrowers fall behind on bills amid rising unemployment and falling home values.
The amount of credit card debt delinquent at least 60 days reached 3.75% in December, the latest month available, surpassing the previous high of 3.73% set in February 1998, according to Fitch Ratings, which rates corporate debt.
In November, (the Fed’s monthly G.19 report), revolving debt was at a balance of $963.5 Billion. Taken as a whole, consumer credit (revolving and nonrevolving) is at $2.562 trillion.
What might this mean?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to observe the unrest in the mind set of a majority of Americans. People are concerned about their jobs, their savings.
Just last week, a close friend of mine confided that both he and his wife think they will likely be unemployed within 6 months. They wonder how will they continue to do everything.
In the USA, we live in a time of where people are missing an inner peace.
- Peace that passes understanding — Philippians 4:7
- He came to preach peace — Ephesians 2:17
- Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts – Colossians 3:15
- Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. – 2 Thessalonians 3:6
- You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you – Isaiah 26:3
- Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble – Psalm 119:165
- How are you experiencing this peace in your own life?
- Can you talk about your inner peace during this time?
- Who among your relationships is showing signs of distress and unrest that might talk with you about your quietude in similar circumstances?
- How can you engage your non-Christian friends about inner peace?
- What questions might help your conversation along?