If we’re headed towards economic recovery, the path is unlikely to be a smooth one. At least that’s what June’s unemployment numbers indicate as the nation lost 467,000 jobs, more than 100,000 above estimates.

With unemployment now at 9.5%, a 26 year high, most economists foresee double-digit unemployment before the end of the year with numbers continuing to rise into 2010 before beginning to creep back down. Of course, when you figure in all those who’ve given up looking for a job and those who’ve had to settle for low-paying part-time jobs, the real unemployment rate is closer to 16.5%.

That’s a lot of unemployment for the economy to absorb. Given that some jobs aren’t coming back (automotive for instance) and others will have to come back from new sources (Linens n’ Things, Circuit City, etc.), there is no reason to think any recovery will be quick or easy. I suspect economists will be regularly confounded and estimates will be regularly wrong.

The hope is that, all-and-all, the economy trends upwards. We can handle a few bumps, I’m not sure we’d fare well under a long depression.

Business More Jobs Lost in June than Expected