From the Wall Street Journal. Not only did we lose more jobs, over 324,000 in the last five months, but wholesale inventories have increased which roughly translates into, “no one is buying”.

The unemployment rate, which is calculated using a separate survey of households, jumped 0.5 percentage point to 5.5%, its highest level since October 2004. The half-point rise was the biggest since February 1986. According to the household survey, employment fell by 285,000 while unemployment rose by 861,000.

The economic stimulus checks, those went to pay bills, not buy new goods.

While retailers and President Bush were hoping it would go back into the economy, much of it is going to debt. Megan McKinley is using it to pay down medical bills.