It is absurd that the U.S. unemployment rate reached a 26-year high of 9.5% in June. How can this country have 14.7 million people out of work? The labor report out today shows that just about every sector -- including the government -- is cutting jobs. Fewer construction jobs, fewer manufacturing jobs, fewer retail jobs, fewer service jobs, etc. I've read that as a nation, we've fired more people during the current recession than at any point since World War II. It becomes one of those vicious cycles, with each job cut leading to the next. Consider Dow Chemical's ( DOW) decision to close some plants or Gannett's ( GCI) elimination of more than a thousand newspaper jobs. The next thing you know, Continental Airlines (CAL) ( CAL) is forcing hundreds of flight attendants to take "leave." With fewer people flying, Continental cuts advertising spending and more newspaper jobs will go. And when unemployed consumers cut their spending, Dow Chemical may feel compelled to scale back production even more. And so on and so on. It is the rare headline we see these days about companies creating jobs. So rare that it almost went unnoticed last week when General Electric ( GE) said it would build a research center near Detroit and create more than 1,000 jobs. That should have been bigger news. Come on -- creating jobs in Detroit! As the auto industry shrinks, it's amazing that an industrial conglomerate like GE has the courage to fill the void. We need more corporate courage.