|Posted by G on April 4, 2011 at 12:22 PM||comments (2)|
It was reported that Businesses created 216,000 jobs last month and the jobless rate fell to 8.8 percent.
NOTE: The economy has recovered a fraction of the more than 8 million jobs lost in the recession. Economists say sustained job growth of between 250,000 and 300,000 a month is needed to have a sizable impact on the millions of unemployed and under employed. According to the Economic Policy Institute, it will now take the creation of 285,000 new jobs per month every month for the next five years to get this country back to its pre-recession unemployment numbers.
Millan Mulraine, senior macro strategist at TD Securities in New York said, “Even if we have an acceleration in the pace of job growth, there still remains significant slack in the labor market,” and that “Given the high levels of unemployment and the fact that the duration of unemployment is still unacceptably high, the Fed will remain on the sidelines at least for the next year before they start contemplating tightening monetary policy explicitly.”
The numbers... 216,000 jobs created in one full month yet 388,000 newly unemployed Americans applied for first time unemployment insurance in just one week, the week ending March 26. The pace of job growth hasn't been strong enough to make a dent in the large pool of long-term jobless workers who have left the workforce. Some have gone back to school; some have given up looking, others have "retired" hoping to get by on their savings. Now As job prospects supposedly improve, those people typically begin looking again. But, according to the Bureau of labor statistics data, that hasn't happened yet: the so-called "participation rate" remained flat in March.
Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial, "Where are the people throwing their hat back in the ring?" "Long term unemployment is over six million. That's really disturbing. They're running out of unemployment insurance and tapping into disability, welfare, applying for food stamps. It's tough stuff."
Looking at the actual DOL report itself it reads, “The number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate changed little in March. The labor force was also little changed over the month.”
This report presents statistics from two major surveys, the Current Population Survey (household survey) and the Current Employment Statistics survey (establishment survey).The Current Population Survey is a sample survey of about 60,000 households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. and The Current Employment Statistics sample includes about 140,000 businesses and government agencies.
Two hundred thousand people are surveyed to come up with a number that is supposed to accurately represent a country with a resident population of 311,093,397.
By its own admission, the reliability of the DOL “estimates” and that word “estimates” is their word not mine, the reliability of the DOL “estimates” as relates to the current employment statistics survey is plus or minus 100,000.1.
|Posted by G on April 4, 2011 at 12:16 PM||comments (1)|
From The Labor Department new applicants for unemployment insurance last week came in at a seasonally adjusted number of 388,000. The four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, rose to 394,250. These numbers are comparable to the July 2008 figures. In case anyone needs a reminder, July 2008 represented our 7th month into the Great Recession.
For those that feel the numbers released by the government are incorrect, here is an example that would prove you right. The labor department revised their previous five years of data. The changes showed that applications in recent weeks were in their words, moderately higher than previously reported.
Note: The words seasonally adjusted always appear before the jobs numbers and why is this? These are not accurate numbers but rather numbers based upon past figures that are combined with some small sampling of current data to produce the numbers that are released. To quote msnbc.com, "Almost all economic statistics from widely watched employment data to more obscure measures of industrial output are only estimates based on data samples that are designed to stand in for more complete reporting that would take months or years to compile."
|Posted by G on April 4, 2011 at 12:12 PM||comments (0)|
The Commerce Department says consumer spending rose 0.7 percent in February. But a big part of the increase went to cover higher prices for gas. High gas prices were a big reason for the increase in spending. Economists are concerned that if energy costs keep going up, it will cut into household budgets and leave consumers with less money to spend on other items. After adjusting for inflation, consumer spending actually rose just 0.3 percent.
The economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, grew at an annual rate of 3.1 percent in the October-December quarter. This represented the strongest performance since the start of last year when the economy was growing at a 3.7 percent rate. So this number that Economists say needs to average around 5 percent for a year just to lower the unemployment rate by 1 percentage point is actually lower than it was a year ago.
According to The Conference Board, U.S. consumer confidence fell in March. The index of consumer attitudes fell to 63.4 in March from a revised 72.0 in February. The expectations index slipped to 81.1 from 97.5, while consumers' expectations for inflation in the coming 12 months hit its highest level since October 2008. The Consumers' labor market assessment worsened. The "jobs hard to get" index rose to 44.6 percent from 44.4 percent in February, while the "jobs plentiful" index slipped to 4.4 percent from 4.9 percent. Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead declined to 19.9 percent from 21.2 percent, Respondents expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months declined to 20.6 percent from 25.2 percent, And, those expecting business conditions to worsen increased to 16.2 percent from 10.3 percent.
Companies trimmed their orders for long-lasting manufactured goods in February with a key category that signals business investment falling. The Commerce Department says that businesses reduced orders for durable goods 0.9 percent last month, and reduced orders for capital goods by 0.7% the fourth decline in the past five months.
According to the associated press global economy tracker, out of 22 countries representing more than 80% of global output, the U.S. job market is shown to be the weakest. This report also showed that there are still 5.4 percent fewer American jobs than in December 2007.
Americans are growing increasingly pessimistic about the economy. A new Associated Press-GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications poll shows only 15 percent of Americans surveyed said they believed the economy had improved over the past month, compared with 30 percent who had thought that in January. Only a third surveyed were optimistic of better times ahead for the country, down from about half earlier this year. And 28 percent thought the economy would get worse, the largest of slice of people who have expressed that sentiment since the question was first asked in December 2009. Just a note, we were still in the midst of the recession in December 2009.
|Posted by G on February 12, 2011 at 9:12 PM||comments (2)|
The National Federation of Independent Business' optimism index rose 1.5 points to 94.1. Despite the increase, the index still remained near low levels. "The average reading before the recession started was 100". The NFIB said in a statement, "Expectations improved, but not spending and hiring plans, more hope than action." The survey, which was conducted through January 31, showed respondents were concerned about sluggish sales.
Fifteen percent of those surveyed reported reducing employment an average of 2.9 employees. The average increase in employment per firm was negative for 33 of the last 37 months. It is always reported that Small businesses are seen critical to job creation, which disappointed in January. The government reported employers added a mere 36,000 jobs last month.
The Labor Department reported this week that Job openings fell for the second straight month in December. Another sign that hiring is still weak. Employers advertised a little less than 3.1 million jobs, a drop of almost 140,000 from November. That's the lowest total since September 2010.
The Commerce Department reported Thursday Businesses at the wholesale level added to their inventories in December by a mere 1%. Even though demand for their products slowed. Sales at the wholesale level rose 0.4 percent in December, a smaller than expected increase and the poorest showing since last July.
According to projections by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office Income tax payments this year will be nearly 13 percent lower than they were in 2008. Corporate taxes will be lower by a third. Actually, as a share of the nation's economy, Taxes collected this year will be the lowest since 1950.
The poor economy is largely to blame, with unemployment up, but so is a tax code that grows each year with new deductions, credits and exemptions.
So, when we hear all of the talk about America's rising deficit, recognize that if we extend unemployment insurance for all Americans, taxes are paid on those dollars. Those receiving unemployment insurance spend those dollars, a portion of which goes toward sales tax, which all go back to bringing the deficit down. By the way, the other minor benefit that comes as a result of those dollars being spent by the unemployed is that demand goes up and we see job creation.
The trade deficit widened in December, closing out a year in which America's trade gap ballooned by the largest amount in a decade. The Commerce Department says the deficit in December increased 5.9 percent to $40.6 billion.
For all of 2010, the U.S. trade deficit rose to $497.8 billion, a 32.8 percent surge. It was the biggest annual percentage gain since 2000. Economists believe the deficit will keep widening in 2011 and that U.S. manufacturers will benefit from a weaker dollar, which makes their goods more competitive in foreign markets.
This report translates into two distinct problems for the US economy. When exports exceed imports it is a clear sign that Americans either are not spending money or don’t have the money to spend on consumer goods and both are true in today’s economy. The second problem is that if businesses are recognizing larger profits overseas, where do you think they are going to focus their resources… overseas. U.S. Business will follow the money.
Extend unemployment insurance for all American’s and spending goes up, then the focus can shift back home and the hiring process begins again.
|Posted by G on January 29, 2011 at 1:09 AM||comments (2)|
Please keep in mind that the Great Recession of 2007 ended in June of 2009 when you read the following information:
Foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. The group that tracks notices for defaults, scheduled home auctions and home repossessions released a report on Thursday, January 27th stating that Foreclosure activity jumped in 149 of the country's 206 largest metropolitan areas last year.
In case you were not aware, we lost 1 million homes to foreclosure last year. That number is up from 900,000 in 2009. Job loss, rather than time-bomb mortgages resetting to higher payments, has become the main driver behind rising foreclosures. About 5 million borrowers are at least two months behind on their mortgages and more will miss payments as they struggle with job losses and loans worth more than their home's value, industry analysts forecast.
Rick Sharga, a senior vice president at RealtyTrac said, "We've actually had a sea change in what's causing foreclosures, from the overheated home prices and bad loans to a second wave of foreclosures actually caused by unemployment and economic displacement,". He continued on in saying, "We believe we're going to see an abnormally high growth of foreclosure activity in the first quarter and we do expect that 2011 will be another record year for foreclosure activity and bank repossessions,".
Defaults on Student Loans:
America's student debt at the end of 2010 was nearly $880 billion. That number is growing by more than $2,800 dollars per second.
For a growing number of graduates, it's not working out — especially in an economy where jobs are in short supply. Student loan defaults have doubled in the last five years, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and are now approaching nearly a quarter-million defaults a year.
The number of U.S. consumers who filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010 was the highest in five years, and the figure could rise as Americans struggle with excess debt in an uncertain economy.
Roughly 1.53 million consumer bankruptcy petitions were filed in 2010, up 9 percent from 1.41 million in 2009, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute, citing data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center. Samuel Gerdano, executive director of the ABI, said filings are rising even as consumers try to cut spending and debt after the 2008 financial crisis and accompanying recession.
U.S. homebuilders remain discouraged over the prospects for improved home sales in the months ahead, unconvinced as yet that the economy will spur the kind of job growth needed to coax more buyers into the market.
The National Association of Home Builders said Tuesday that its monthly reading of builders' sentiment was unchanged in January at 16, where it's been since November.
While it remains the highest reading since June, any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the market. The index hasn't been above that level since April 2006.
"At this point, housing remains on the sidelines of a weak economic recovery as consumers and builders wait for clear and consistent indications that jobs and economic output are reviving," this comes from David Crowe, the trade association's chief economist. The job market and unemployment rate need to improve before the housing can fully recover.
Weak sales mean fewer jobs in the construction industry, which normally helps power economic recoveries. Each new home built creates, on average, the equivalent of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in taxes, according to the builders' trade group.
In 2010 (a year after the recession "officially ended"), 157 banks were closed as a result of a weak economy and soured loans. In 2009, 140 banks were closed. Twenty-five banks failed in 2008, the year the financial crisis struck with force; only three succumbed in 2007. The number of banks on the FDIC's confidential "problem" list jumped to 860 in the third quarter of last year from 829 three months earlier. As of the 14th of January 2011, 3 banks have already had to close their doors.
When 5 million plus Americans no longer have any income, nor the ability to invest back into the economy, the result is some of what you have just read. How do we stop the bleeding? Extend unemployment insurance for the longest term unemployed, and allow them to once again play an active role in consumer spending. Consumer spending accounts for 70% of all econmic activity.
|Posted by G on December 15, 2010 at 5:33 PM||comments (0)|
Excerpts taken from: Associated Press/AP Online/Reuters/MSNBC.com
The Labor Department released data on 12/09/10. First-time claims for UI fell by 17,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 421,000 in the week ending Dec. 4th. Applications for first-time claims for UI came in at 410,000 two weeks earlier.....Is this a recovery?
Private companies – the sector of our economy referred to as the backbone of the economy - created only 50,000 jobs in the month of November. That was down significantly from the 160,000 private-sector jobs created in October and was the smallest gain since January 2010.....Is this a recovery?
The latest poll released on 12/02/10 by StrategyOne found that about half of Americans are uncertain about the future. About 40 percent said the economy is “poor,” and about half said the economy is “fair.” The vast majority of those surveyed by StrategyOne believe the nation is still in recession.....Is this a recovery?
In June of 2009, when the recession officially ended the National Unemployment Rate was at 9.5%. Eighteen months later the National Unemployment Rate stands at 9.8%.
December is the19th straight month that the jobless rate has remained above 9 percent, the longest stretch on records going back to 1948
17% of the labor force is “underemployed.” That number is the same as Octobers and that figure remains close to a record high set last year.
From June 2009 to November 1, 2010, America has lost a net 439,000 jobs.
.......Is this a recovery?
|Posted by G on November 30, 2010 at 12:22 AM||comments (5)|
Americans keep reading the reports that for every dollar provided in unemployment insurance, the return on Washington's investment is currently $1.60 to $2.00, with respect to the positive effect it has on the economy. So we are looking at anywhere between a 60% to 100% return.
Even Bernard Madoff in his best days, when running America's largest ponzi scheme could not promise such returns. The difference between the two... the return on unemployment insurance is REAL!
The Non-Partisan Congressional Budget Office report looked at a variety of strategies to boost the economy -- or to keep things from getting worse -- such as investing in infrastructure, reducing income taxes in 2011 or cutting payroll taxes for companies that hire new people. Increasing aid to the unemployed offered the biggest bang for the buck, with respect to economic recovery and job creation.
Somehow this message was lost somewhere along the line. If this report had not been misplaced, then why would the largest operating American business, The United States of America, while in the midst of such economic dilemma turn its back on a guaranteed money maker?
For those that might be unclear as to how this "works", the time has come to explain in the simplest of terms why and how such tremendous return is achieved. If we get this information into the right hands,unemployment insiurance can be extended for ALL unemployed Americans, and we can see this failing company known as the U.S.A. find its way back to profitability once again.
When you give $1 to people who have lost their jobs and they have run out of savings, those dollars get spent. So Mary gives it to Mike down the street to buy some of his fruits and vegetables. Mike, who relies on customers like Mary, might put 25 cents in the bank but use the rest to buy seed and fertilizer from Tom's store in town. Tom might save a dime of the 75 cents he got from Mike but use the remaining 60 cents for a new pair of glasses.
When economists calculate the gross domestic product, they add up all those transactions (excluding the amount set aside in savings and money that ends up overseas if you buy foreign goods). In this limited example, Mary's $1 has added $2.35 ($1 plus 75 cents plus 60 cents) to the gross domestic product. Yes, it's still just $1, but by passing it along it has helped three people.
This may seem like a strange way of looking at things until you imagine the opposite situation, where the economy goes bad and we stop paying unemployment insurance.
When Mary can't afford to buy anything, Mike loses business, which affects his ability to pay Tom. As the impact ripples through the economy on a larger scale, unemployment spreads. Tax revenues evaporate. Governments must cut services, raise taxes and/or borrow money. That can mean more unemployment, less non-tax money for people to spend and higher government debt.
David Weil, a professor of economics at Brown University who explained the CBO numbers to us, stressed that this isn't always a good idea. "It doesn't work when the economy is robust and unemployment is low” (Not a problem that we as a Nation are faced with right now by any means, we should only be so fortunate).
"If the CBO re-ran this analysis at a boom time, those numbers would be much smaller and they might be zero," he said, "and spending all that money would give you inflation and not higher output." The strategy works best when the people who are receiving the unemployment checks have to spend every government dollar they receive, and spend it on things that help underemployed workers and underutilized factories. That keeps the system flowing.
Now it's time that Washington not just look at how to save money, now is the time to implament into law a program that will make money.
...End of lesson
|Posted by G on November 19, 2010 at 4:27 PM||comments (3)|
Excerpts taken from: Associated Press/MSNBC
WASHINGTON - Initial claims for jobless aid increased by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 439,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.
The nation’s jobless rate has been hovering near 10 percent for many months now, but one of the most disturbing statistics is that as of October, 6.2 million, or four in 10 unemployed Americans, had been out of work for 27 weeks or more. That’s the highest number on record, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In October, 1.2 million discouraged workers stopped looking for work, up more than 400,000 from the same month last year; and another 9.2 million employees were underemployed, or working part time, because their hours were cut or full time work was just not available.
|Posted by G on November 19, 2010 at 4:19 PM||comments (1)|
Excerpts taken from: Associated Press/AP Online/Reuters/MSNBC.com
WASHINGTON — Job openings dropped sharply in September, a sign that hiring is likely to remain weak .
The Labor Department said that employers advertised 2.9 million jobs at the end of September. That's a drop of 163,000, or 5.3 percent, from the previous month.
The report, known as the Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey, or JOLTS, signals that employers still aren't willing to hire in large numbers. The economy needs to add at least 100,000 jobs per month just to keep up with population growth. The unemployment rate was unchanged in October, at 9.6 percent.
The JOLTS report also shows how hard it is for job-seekers to find work. There were 5 unemployed people, on average, for each available job in September.
That's an improvement from a record 6.3 in November 2009, but worse than April's 4.6 unemployed people per job. Job openings dropped sharply in professional and business services.
Layoffs in the private sector, meanwhile, fell for the second straight month to their lowest level in four years.
|Posted by G on November 5, 2010 at 8:24 PM||comments (0)|
Excerpts taken from: Associated Press/AP Online/Reuters/MSNBC.com
A report Wednesday released by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. showed the number of planned layoffs at U.S. firms rose in October.
According to the report Employers announced 37,986 planned job cuts in October, up 2.2 percent from 37,151 cuts in September. In the first ten months of the year, employers announced 449,258 job cuts.
John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a statement. “Job cuts are the lowest they have been in a decade due to the fact that many employers have basically cut their workforces to the bare minimum.” He concluded his statement by saying, “Unfortunately, the lack of spending by consumers and businesses is stunting demand for new workers.”
According to the most recent data available in August from msnbc.com’s Adversity Index, which was developed with Moody's Analytics, showed just one state moved from the "moderating recession" to the "recovery" category, Georgia.
At the metro level, of the 384 areas tracked by the Adversity Index, only five are in full-blown economic expansion. In metro areas considered "in recovery" by the Adversity Index, the private sector has recovered fewer than one in five lost jobs. It was also shown that Private industry has added just 1 percent to the total job numbers.