While the increase in the jobless rate from 5% in April to 5.5% in May--its highest level since October 2004--the Labor Department acknowledged that unemployment is actually closer to 9.7% when individuals who have ceased looking for work and those who are underemployed and working part-time are factored in. To better diagnose further points of pain, Dr. Housing Bubble turns to California where rapidly increasing unemployment is combined with some of the hardest hit markets in the face of the housing crash. For that story and more, check out Big Builder's bi-weekly roundup of the latest in opinion and commentary across the Web.

BusinessWeek's Hot Property discusses the growing problem of green pools--swimming pools in homes abandoned due to foreclosure that, unmaintained, are now filled with algae, debris, and even dead birds.

Inman News dissects the list of suggested questions to ask before enlisting the services of a real estate agent, courtesy of the Prudential Home Services Team.

Reggie Middleton's Boom Bust looks at a Bloomberg article that shows this particular blog outperformed all analyst and broker house recommendations in the past year.

Seeking Alpha looks at the conflict of interests that exists in the relationship between rating agencies, their auditors, and the companies they rate--and the possible implications.

A real estate agent who used to pick up prospective buyers and chauffeur them to see listed properties has resorted to telling clients, "I'll meet you there," as gas prices put an added economic strain on her already-declining business, The Housing Bubble reports.