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Chart of the Week: US Unemployment vs Revolving Debt

Last week we looked at PayPal's annual payment volume over the last 10 years and how it's grown. This week's chart is a mashup of the US unemployment rate (the thin blue line - as provided by monthly by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) plotted on top of the revolving debt statistics (the red vertical bars - as provided monthly by the Federal Reserve).

US credit card issuers frequently talk about how credit card chargeoffs track the unemployment rate. I was curious as to how the absolute amount of revolving debt tracked unemployment. In this chart you can see revolving debt peaking a $1.2 trillion in 2008 before consumers began paying down revolving debt - and issuer's began charging off amounts from consumers who were defaulting on repayment.

Beginning in 2011, unemployment peaked and consumers began slowly adding to revolving debt again as employment began also improving.

Unemployment RevolvingCredit

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