US unemployment rate now 10.2%

dole queues US.jpgThe US accounts for 23% of global GDP. Its economy is 3 times larger than the No 2 country, Japan. And most critically for the chemical industry, 70% of US GDP is consumer-based.

Developments in US housing/construction, auto and electronics industries are therefore the biggest single influence on global chemical sales.

In turn, the level of unemployment is a critical influence on consumer spending. Sadly, especially for those who have lost their jobs, it rose to 10.2% in October. The broader measure, including those who have given up looking for work, or have taken part-time work, reached 17.5%, or 1 in 6 of the total workforce.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. Paul is also an invited member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such as oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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