It is a cliché that the American economy is “in the tank”, but the reality is that the economic outlook has never been more dire.
The national unemployment rate has hovered at 7.7% for nearly three quarters now.
Even with a few weeks of recovery, the US economy would still be in a deep recession by this summer.
But in the meantime, the economy is doing its best to make the transition.
The last three months have been exceptionally bad.
As the global economy is beginning to bounce back, the American labour market is slowing and jobs are being lost.
The latest jobs report released on Monday showed that the unemployment rate for February was 6.9%.
The latest payrolls report for May showed that hiring is down 6.3% year-on-year.
And the number of Americans who have been laid off is increasing at an even faster pace.
Inflation has also risen sharply, with prices for consumer goods like food and gas rising almost 5% year on year.
But this isn’t the whole story.
As many as 70% of jobs in the US are being held by people who are on food stamps, or who are looking for work but are too lazy to find a job.
And as many as 75% of the jobs that are being created are part-time and low-paying.
It’s time to ask: Are we in a recession?
The answer is yes, but not yet.
It may take some time for the economy to pick up.
But it is likely that the economy will continue to slow, with inflation still above 2%.
And with the Federal Reserve still holding interest rates at a record low and the US still relying heavily on the dollar to import its goods, the odds of a full-blown recession are very real.
But that’s just the beginning.
The rest of the world is experiencing the same economic turmoil.
The European Union is in the midst of a massive debt crisis, with governments having to spend huge sums on debt relief to keep the lights on.
In the UK, the Labour Party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn is struggling to keep his party together after the Brexit vote and the election of a pro-Brexit Tory government.
And in Japan, the government has been forced to reduce spending on pensions and benefits.
The biggest challenge facing the global economic system will be to get the US back on track and to find ways to stimulate growth and employment.
There are two key problems with the current economy.
The first is the huge amount of debt.
This means that it is not just the US that is running up huge debt.
The International Monetary Fund predicts that the debt of the developed world will be nearly $3 trillion by 2035.
This is more than the debt held by all the developed countries combined.
The problem is that this debt has not been repaid.
It has been accumulated in ways that are not transparent.
The biggest culprits are the big banks.
Banks lend out trillions of dollars in loans every year, but their customers often do not understand the terms of those loans.
The result is that people are not really paying the loans off and so the banks continue to be bailed out.
The second problem is the fact that there is a global recession.
There is still a lot of slack in the global economies, but there is nothing that can be done to address this.
The global financial system has become too big to fail.
It is not enough to simply create jobs in emerging markets.
We also need to help developing countries with debt relief and investment.
In this way, we can help to bring about a more sustainable, long-term economic recovery.
This article originally appeared on Reuters.