You're discussing the bad economy with a group of coworkers. A few months ago, the economy seemed better. Now it seems bad again because there are more people without jobs. You say:
Just as you started to think we were finally headed toward an economic recovery, unemployment goes up again.
You can use this expression when:
- There's a bad situation.
- It seems like the situation is going to get better, BUT...
- Something else bad happens.
You can always use it in the opposite situation, when it seems like something bad is going to happen, but then you get saved:
Just as I started to think that we were lost, Samantha found the trail again.
In this example "you" means "people in general". It doesn't specifically mean the person that the speaker is talking to.
Use this expression to talk about big changes in a country or an organization that are going to have some end result:
The nation is headed toward a civil war.
We're headed toward an undefeated season if we can just beat Missouri and Kansas State.
I hear that Brown Industries is headed toward bankruptcy.
The "economy" is the system of money in a country. An "economic recovery" is when the economy has been bad for a while, then becomes good again.
The "unemployment rate" of an area is the % of people who don't have jobs. The unemployment rate is also called just "unemployment". If unemployment is high, it means that a lot of people don't have jobs. If unemployment is low, it means that most people have jobs.
To describe a change in the unemployment rate, you say that unemployment is "going up" or "going down":
Unemployment has gone up for 6 straight months.
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