Tam has a post on her observations of business conditions in Knoxville.
To which I will only add that on January 1, 2008 my company had 12,264 business customers. This morning we have 8,019. Call it a 35% loss of customer base – at a sole source supplier.
Yesterday, I saw a well argued comment that the true unemployment rate is 35%. So many formerly employed have either been forced to retire or go on SSI (disability) that U6, the raw unemployment rate, is officially at 15.1%. It was 9.2% in January of 2008, without the massive obfuscation that the current rate has acquired in the last three years.
Business conditions are getting worse in a hurry. And five buck a gallon gasoline in DC and six buck gas in Florida does not bode well for the summer.