May 2010 Jobs Report – Econcomy Is Still Losing Ground – Job Creation Isn’t Keeping Pace With The Number Of New Workers

The following is being reported by the Associated Press:

“The government also said 431,000 jobs overall were created last month, but most of those jobs, 411,000, came from the government’s hiring of temporary census workers. The overall number also fell short of expectations. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast employers would add 513,000 jobs.” http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100604/ap_on_bi_st_ma_re/us_wall_street  http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/06/Heritage-Employment-Report-May-Jobs-Struggle-to-Appear

The straight forward math is this, private employers added 20,000 (20 thousand) employees last month when a gain of 513,000 was expected. Over the next 60 days, the 411,000 part time census workers will rejoin the ranks of the unemployed. Last month’s (April 2010) job hires were largely due to “temporary summer hires”.

The Obama Adminiistration is claiming that the unemployment rate has dropped from 9.8% to 9.7% – a drop that isn’t being related to temporary hiring (becasue if it was related to temporary hiring – then the Obama Administration would need to report an increase in the unemployment rate after the people are “laid off” from their temporaray work)  the “lower” unemployement number is being related to the fact that “300,000 people have given up on their job searchs”.

Please note that the Government does not count an individual who has exhausted their unemployment benefits as being “unemployed”.

In our recent past the Liberal Media has reported that it takes between 150,000 and 200,000 new jobs each and every month to keep up with population growth – any “private job” creation number below that means the economy is shrinking. These statements are correct. 

With only 21,000 jobs created by private employers in May 2010, we are somewhere between 130,000 and 180,000 jobs short of breaking even for the month.

Personally, I find it surprising that no media outlet has pointed out that, over the last 6 months, the Obama Adminstration has reported that the usual “growth” in the number of individuals entering the “job market” has been off set by an equal number of people “giving up their job searches”. What a remarkable coincidence! 

Read and compare these historical statements from our liberal media: 

  •  The New York Times, 08/08/03: The economy must add about 150,000 jobs or more each month to keep up with population growth and bring down the jobless rate over a long period of time. In the 1990’s, the economy created an average of 181,000 jobs a month.  http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/08/business/08ECON.html?pagewanted=2 
  • The San Francisco Examiner – April 3, 2004: Total jobs outside the farm sector soared by 308,000, the Labor Department reported Friday, the unemployment rate rose to 5.7 percent from 5.6 percent in February primarily because 179,000 people entered the labor force. (A net gain of 129,000 jobs and the unemployment rate went up) http://articles.sfgate.com/2004-04-03/news/17423578_1_worst-job-recovery-job-growth-labor-market
  • Washinton Post 09/04/04 : Employers added 144,000 jobs to their non-farm payrolls in August on a seasonally adjusted basis, an improvement after two months in which job growth essentially stalled, but barely enough to keep pace with population growth. http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A60680-2004Sep3?language=printer
  • The Los Angles Times 09/04/04: U.S. employers added a net 144,000 jobs to their payrolls in August and the nation’s unemployment rate dropped a notch to 5.4% (WOW – 5.4%, not 9.9%) –  Unless employment growth averages 228,250 a month from September through December, Bush will be the first post-Depression president to finish his term with fewer jobs than when he started. http://articles.latimes.com/2004/sep/04/business/fi-jobs4
  • The Boston Globe 01/08/05: US employers boosted payrolls by 157,000 jobs in December, keeping the economy on a path of moderate expansion and completing the first year of job growth since 2000. The month’s job gains were slightly less than analysts expected, and just enough to keep up with the natural growth of the labor force and prevent unemployment from rising.  Over the past year, the economy has averaged 186,000 new jobs a month, and whittled three-tenths of a point from the December 2003 unemployment rate of 5.7 percent. All told, the nation added a net 2.2 million jobs last year, the most since 1999, when the economy created 3.2 million. http://www.boston.com/business/globe/articles/2005/01/08/us_gains_157000_jobs_in_december/

Until the Obama Adminstration admits we are not on course for a recovery, the proper corrective measures will not be taken.

“Spinning” the numbers doesn’t help the average Amercian or improve our economy …..

We were promised that if the “Stimulus Plan” was passed the unemployment rate would not rise above 8%, and that millions of new jobs would be created in the “private sector”. Reuters reported that the Country lost over 3 million jobs in the 1st 10 months after the “stimulus” was signed 18 months ago. http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2009/10/30/afx7069921.html

The New York Times has reported that the “total number of jobs lost” through the 1st of this year is 8 million. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/weekinreview/04norris.html?_r=2&scp=2&sq=floyd&st=cse

Between the start of the recession and the 1st of Janauary 2010 a total of 8.1 million jobs were lost.   http://www.epi.org/publications/entry/jobs_picture_20100108/

At the end of January 2010, the U.S. Government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the number of “jobs lost” had increased to 8.4 million.  http://dailycaller.com/2010/02/08/unemployment-drops-while-total-jobs-lost-increases/ 

On that same day, the Obama Administration reported that the unemployment rate dropped from 10% to 9.7 %. This happened despite the fact that the Administration reported that they had “overestimated job creation” by over 800,000 jobs. We lost 800,000 jobs and the unemployment rate dropped from 10% to 9.7%.  http://money.cnn.com/2010/02/04/news/economy/jobs_outlook/

In March 2010 the BLS reported a loss of 20,000 jobs in February 2010. A loss of 20,000 jobs would mean that the US was between 170,000 and 220,000 jobs short of breaking even in February 2010. The “official” unemployment rate remained “unchanged”. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0303/breaking54.html

In April 2010 the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 162,000 jobs were created in March 2010. Temporary census jobs counted for 48,000 of the jobs while 114,000 were in the private sector. The 114,000 “private sector” jobs were certainly a welcome sign, but the number of new jobs were 50,000 jobs below the number needed to “break even” for the month. The “official” unemployment rate remained unchanged.  http://www.employmentmetrix.com/blog/2010/04/good-news-for-job-seekers-march-jobs-report-shows-growth.html?no_prefetch=1

The report for May 2010, which was relased today, is discussed above. (411,000 of 431,000 jobs created are temporary census jobs). The 20.000 jobs created in the private sector falls far short of the 150,000 to 200,000 needed to break even for the month, however, we are told that the unemployment rate dropped from 9.8% to 9.7% because 300,000 “unemployed” workers stopped looking for work.

Exactly where are these 300,000 unemployed workers who suddenly gave up on finding work? What a surpise! A 6th straight month where the “job creation numbers” fall short of the “break even point” without a single increase in the “unemployment rate”.  

I’m sorry, I don’t believe it for a minute. These numbers are more thoroughly cooked than my Christmas Goose!   

If an individual has “access” to unemployment benefits they must report that they are “able, available and seeking” work …… in order to collect benefits. 

It appears that the number of “lay-offs” per month may have returned to pre-recession levels, however, new job creation is not keeping pace with the natural and historical growth in the Country’s labor pool. If “job creation” isn’t keeping pace with the natural growth rate of the “labor pool” we should be seeing, as we have always seen in the past, an increase in the monthly unemployment rate.  http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/06/Heritage-Employment-Report-May-Jobs-Struggle-to-Appear

The economy is not in recovery and if the books were not being cooked, the unemployment rate would be rising.

When President Obama says “our economic policies are working” and “we are heading in the right direction” he is either in self denial or he is, as is claimed, more interested in “spinning” the facts for his personal poltical benefit than he is interested in helping working Americans, or more imporantly, helping those Americans who wish they were working.

For a comparison of the average annual unemployment rates during the George W Bush Presidency and our 1st 18 months under Barack Obama (Chart of average annual unemployment rates from 1948 through 2009) see: http://www.miseryindex.us/URbyyear.asp?StartYear=1948&EndYear=2009

Bureau Of Labor Statistics – 2.9 Million Fewer Job Openings Today – Employment “Separations” Continue To Outpace “New Hires”

The job openings rate was little changed in September at an enemic rate of 1.9 percent. The number of job openings has fallen by 2.3 million, or 48 percent, since the most recent peak in June 2007.
These data are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey and are seasonally adjusted. Data for the most recent month are preliminary and subject to revision. Find additional information in “ Job Openings and Labor Turnover—September 2009”. Hires are the total number of additions to the payroll occurring at any time during the reference month. Separations are the total number of terminations of employment occurring at any time during the reference month, and are reported by type of separation—quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations.

Source: US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

 

On The Road To Economic Recovery Or On The Eve Of A Great Depression

The following claims can be confirmed at these sites:

http://stockcharts.com/charts/historical/djia19201940.html                                                                                                           http://seansrant.com/ive-said-it-before-and-ill-say-it-again-the-decline-still-isnt-over-and-heres-why-im-short-the-djia/

The DJIA high in 1929 was 381.17. After the 1929 “crash” the DJIA stood at 198.69, a 48% drop.

The DJIA “rebounded in 1930 to a high of  294.07, a gain of 95.38 points, a nearly 50% recovery, a recovery very similar to our current recovery in 2009/2010.

The real “crash” of the Great Depression began in late 1930 when the DJIA began a decline to a level of 41.22 in 1933. Between 1930 and 1933 there were several sharp “spikes” upward, followed by precipitous drops of the DJIA.

Does our current “spike” indicate a recovery? Certainly not!

The toxic assets are still on the Bank’s books, yet the financial marklets are leading the recovery. Commercial real estate is on the brink of collapse, home mortgage foreclosures continue to climb – while the Obama mortgage assistance program has resulted in less than 2000 permanently modified mortgages – the President pledged to help 9,000,000. Credit card defaults and personal bankrupties continue to climb and the unemployment rate – incorrectly called a “lagging indicator” – continues to climb. Unemployment doesn’t lag – it is “current” – unemployment can only be said to “lag” other indicators which are actually “predicting” future activity. The DJIA current level is “predciting” that “profits” and associated dividends will be better six months from now -that ”prediction” is based on a set of “assumptions”, one of the assumptions is that unemployment will improve and not worsen. The unemployment rate predicts nothing – it is a number that “understates” a current condition.

The DJIA is not predicative of economic health.  

The following from: http://www.online-stock-trading-guide.com/great-depression-stock-chart.htm

1929-1930 Stock Chart 1   
 
If you changed the dates from 1929 – 1930 to 2007 – 2009 you’d have an almost identical set of charts. http://seansrant.com/ive-said-it-before-and-ill-say-it-again-the-decline-still-isnt-over-and-heres-why-im-short-the-djia/

1930 Stock Chart
 
1932 Stock Chart
 
 
1928-1933 Stock Chart
 
1928-1955 Stock Chart
 
 The DJIA has “zero” value in predicting whether our economic health has “turned” the corner.

AP - CHANGES headline and intro text; graphic shows total foreclosure filings for past 13 months ...

AP – CHANGES headline and intro text; graphic shows total foreclosure filings for past 13 months …The foreclosure crisis affected nearly 938,000 properties in the July-September quarter, compared with about 890,000 in the prior three months, according to a report released Thursday by RealtyTrac Inc. That puts foreclosure-related filings on a pace to hit about 3.5 million this year, up from more than 2.3 million last year.

Unemployment is the main reason homeowners are falling into trouble. While the economy is likely out of recession, the unemployment rate — now at a 26-year high of 9.8 percent — isn’t expected to peak until the middle of next year.  

http://www.charter.net/news/read.php?id=15958748&ps=1011&srce=news_class&action=1&lang=en&_LT=HOME_USNWC00L1_UNEWS 

This is after an 81% increase in mortage foreclosures between 2007 and 2008. http://www.thestandard.com.hk/breaking_news_detail.asp?id=11900

Credit card defaults up at major lenders

Over the past few months, banks had been releasing some promising figures regarding credit card defaults – but new data suggests that any signs of improvement may not be lasting.

The latest figures from major lenders implies that previous progress could be more accurately credited to seasonal factors and Americans paying down credit card debt with their tax refunds, according to Bloomberg.

Banks including JPMogan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Discover all reported an increase in credit card defaults – also known as charge-offs – during August. Charge-offs reflect credit card accounts that issuers deem uncollectable.

In particular, BofA reported that charge-offs climbed from 13.8 percent to 14.5 percent last month, while Citigroup saw a rise from 10 percent to 12.1 percent during the same period.

http//www.credit.com/news/credit-debt/2009-09-16/credit-card-defaults-up-at-major-lenders.html  

What is the truth about the underlying fundamentals is our economy ……

At foreclosure auctions, broken dreams on sale

On 11:52 am EDT, Thursday October 15, 2009

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The seven-bedroom, three-bath house in this city’s West Garfield Park neighborhood had once been someone’s American Dream.

But at a recent auction of about 100 foreclosed houses and condos, it was just Property No. 20 — and drawing no bids from a roomful of buyers despite its bargain-basement price.

“Any interest in this home at $7,000?” fast-talking auctioneer Renee Jones asked the crowd. “If not, we’ll move on.”

 http://finance.yahoo.com/news/At-foreclosure-auctions-rb-853906128.html?x=0&.v=1

 Foreclosures rise 5 percent from summer to fall

US foreclosures keep soaring as unemployment remains main cause of housing woes

By Alan Zibel, AP Real Estate Writer

On 1:59 pm EDT, Thursday October 15, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of U.S. households caught up in the foreclosure crisis rose more than 5 percent from summer to fall as a federal effort to assist struggling borrowers was overwhelmed by a flood of defaults among people who lost their jobs.

 

Has The Economic Recovery Started? Is The Worse Over? The Unvarnished Economic Data

This headline greeted me this morning:

World markets surge as US data boost recovery hope

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090402/ap_on_bi_ge/world_markets

US Data? What US data can they be talking about? GM, Chrysler and Ford posted huge additional losses. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090402/ap_on_bi_ge/world_markets

The article then went on to say some very surprising things: “Nearly every sector in Asia charged higher, with carmakers like Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. rallying on U.S. auto figures that were less dismal than feared.” Really, rallying on US auto figures – just what were those figures? Less dismal? They seem very dismal to me – after all you didn’t expect car sales to be zero did you?

‘Investors were encouraged after U.S. car sales jumped by nearly 25 percent last month from February, beating the typical rise and underpinning hopes of a turnaround in the American auto market — critical for Asia’s giant auto companies.’ What? Auto sales “jumped” by 25% last month – I don’t believe it, do you? (I don’t believe it for good reason – I know the real numbers).

SEE: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30024711

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2009/04/03/auto-bubble-bursts-march-09-auto-sales-down-40-tax-dollars-to-fund-high-risk-auto-loans/

“A rebound in pending U.S. home sales in February from a record low, as well as improving manufacturing activity, added to a growing belief the most severe global downturn in decades may be moving close to a bottom.’ What? Housing sales are up? Where? By whose count? Manufacturing activity is up? By what measure and whose numbers? I’ll provide the unvarnished numbers shortly …..

“Still, the upbeat evidence distracted investors from more sobering news the U.S. private sector continued to shed hundreds of thousands of jobs last month — a worrisome sign as investors brace for Friday’s report on nationwide job cuts.” Yes, those pesky unemployment numbers – preliminary projects announced yesterday were absolutely awful – specifics to follow.

You can imagine my surprise when 3/4 of the way through this same article the following sentence appears,

“With the economic crisis still far from over, analysts warned of more painful market volatility as the recession unfolds.”

Recession unfolds? Unfolds? One would think the recovery was underway based on the previous statements. This is beyond shoddy journalism, this is unethical reporting.  

My point is this, the data suggest we have not hit bottom, plain and simple. I’m looking forward to the “turn around” as much as the next person. I’m looking forward to it more than youmight guess. Unfortunately, that turnaround is expected to beging in 6 to 12 months and today’s data does not dignal an earlier start. Misrepresenting where we are at now can cost individuals a fortune with bad investment advise and can harm the recovery by setting false expectations that can only lead to disapointment. The truth is this; the economic elevator from hell that we are all riding, is still heading down. It’s descent may be slowing but there is no sign that it is about to stop.

I’m glad to see that stock prices are rebounding from their 12 year lows, but as unemployment continues to grow and as the prosepcts for profits and dividends remain bleak, there is more than a possibility that these gains will be surrendered and that the markets will test new all time lows. Spending, taxes and the possibility of runaway inflation remain serious concerns.

Remember this, the Stock Market is not the economy. During many of the years which made up the Great Depression (1929 – 1941) , the stock market “went up” while the economy deteriorated. In fact the DJIA went up in 6 of the 12 years of “The Great Depression”. http://www.nyse.tv/dow-jones-industrial-average-history-djia.htm 

Wildly incorrect headlines maybe spurring people to re-enter the markets prematurely. Without a return to broad based profitability and dividend payments increased stock prices may not hold. Beware a “Bear Market Bounce” and don’t confuse “trading activity” with “investment activity”. Good Luck and lets hope for the best.

Hope aside – here are the unvarnished numbers.

Auto Sales: 

US Auto sales are down, horrifically down. The report above so badly misrepresents the true state of auto sales in the US, I have to question the author’s ethics. The numbers simply don’t support, in anyway, the statement made above. The statement above can actually be harmful. If one were to believe auto sales were on there way back, one might fight necessary change to correct “broken business models”. What do the numbers show?

Sales of new cars and trucks are down 36.8% in March 2009 compared to March 2008.

The Boston Globe reported this yesterday: “Automakers began 2008 expecting the worst year for U.S. auto sales in a decade. So far, they’re getting what they anticipated. Sales dropped by double digits in March, even for usual stalwarts like Toyota. And with fragile consumer confidence, falling home values, tightening credit and high energy prices, it may be some time before auto sales recover. http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2008/04/01/us_auto_sales_fall_in_march/

Current sales figures indicate 1,000,000 fewer cars will be sold in the US in 2009 than last year and last year was one of the worst years in memory.  http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2008/04/01/us_auto_sales_fall_in_march/ Continued sales reductions mean continued cutbacks, not growth , new jobs or new auto plants. 

Remember 1 year ago, March 2008, GM sales figures were down 19% compared to March 2007, Ford’s sales were down 14% over March 2007. http://articles.latimes.com/2008/apr/02/business/fi-carsales2  Chryslers sales were down  21.2% in March 2008 from March 2007. http://www.autoobserver.com/2008/03/march-car-sales-down-j-d-power-report-says.html .

Having a year in which year to prior year sales drop 40%, after a nearly 20% drop in the prior year, is horrific. There has been zero increase in auto sales – not a 25% increase – net auto sales are down 40%.  

The March 2009 sales drop is twice as large as the sales drop in 2008. You may be asking, what did they base these incredible claims of increased car sales on – it is this – car sales increased from February to March. The fact is Car sales always increase from February to March. Car sales last year, one of the worst years for car sales in memory, still reflected an increased number of cars sold between February and March. The important or meaningful comparison is March 2008 to March 2009 sales numbers. By that measurement sales are down by almost 40%. As to car sales, the economic elevator has not even begun to slow, it is still acelerating. To misrepresent this number does a disservice to everyone.  To claim that the data presents a picture of a recovering car market is false. Year to year sales are down 40%. In 2008 when sales were down 1/2 that amount the press described the drop as “falling of a cliff”. Now that the sales drop is twice that large, it is being reported as signs of a turnaround. GM’s sale decrease between January 2008 and Jaunuary 2009 was 49%. http://www.thetorquereport.com/2009/02/gm_sales_plunge_49_percent_for.html GM’s auto sales in February 2009 were down 53.1% from February 2008. http://www.mlive.com/business/index.ssf/2009/03/auto_sales_continued_slide_gm.html  These numbers are simply horrible. To suggest this paints a picture of a “recovery” or “turnaround” is dishonest.

Home Sales:

First, some related news, “Modified Mortgage Refinances Continue to Re-default”, “US bank regulators continue to report escalating re-default rates on mortgage loan modifications. Data being assembled by bank regulators is showing a steady trend of rising month-over-month loan work-outs falling back into delinquency within six months.” “One very troubling point is that, whether measured using 30-day or 60-day delinquencies, re-default rates increased each month and showed no signs of leveling off after six months or even eight months,” John Dugan, head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, said in a statement. Defaults rose consistently across all loan types, but subprime loans understandably had the highest re-default average.” http://www.mortgageloan.com/modified-mortgage-refinances-continue-to-redefault-2743

Mortgage refinancing is up, but refinancing does not indicate an increase in home sales. Real estate investment purchasing is down 18.1% from a year prior. http://news.nationalrelocation.com/2008/03/

Last year (March 2008) existing home sales fell 19.1%. The median home price was $200,700, down 7.7% from March 2007. http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2008/04/existing_home_sales_slip_in_march  March 2009 home sales have declined 8.6% from last year. http://www.realestateabc.com/outlook.htm The median price of a home today is $170,3000. So despite a drop in price (Value) of the medican home by $30,000,(17%) sales continue to decline year to year. The percentage decrease is smaller this year, but I’m not sure that is a signal that the elevator is slowing. As mortgage defaults or forelcosures continue and as unemployment numbers continue to worsen, I don’t know that a housing recovery can be predicted. What doesn’t need to be predicted, it can be stated, Home Sales did not incease as reported, they decreased again, from March 2008 to March 2009. The decrease was by 8.6%. Home sales were said to be at “crisis” levels in March 2008 and we have a further reduction so far this year. While there is no need to panic, these numbers so no signs of a pending recovery. Claiming that home sales increased is  a simple lie. The are down by 8.6%.

New home sales posted 331,000 seasonally adjusted annualized units in December. New home sales were off 13.9% from November’s pace and 44.8% below the pace in December 2007. http://www.garealtor.com/ConsumerInformation/LeadingEconomicIndicators/tabid/394/Default.aspx

Meanwhile US banks experienced a 149% increase in bad loans in 2008. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090402/ap_on_bi_ge/world_markets

“banks face many risks in the coming months due to souring loans and investments which will impair capital through large credit writedowns. The central tenet of this site is that writedowns = reduced capital = reduced credit = reduced growth prospects.” “Loan losses for U.S. commercial banks are expected to rise to 3 percent by the end of 2010, from 1.5 percent in the third quarter of 2008, hurt by an increased percentage of bad loans, greater consumer leverage and faster problem recognition by banks”, ” Loan losses might even surpass the 3.4 percent loss levels reached in 1934 during the Great Depression as the industry has taken on increased structural risk in addition to mortgages that should become more apparent during the cyclical slowdown” http://www.creditwritedowns.com/2009/01/deutsche-bank-loan-losses-will-double-in-2009.html

Unemployment

In it’s Budget Plan the Obama Administration predicted that the recession would bottom out some time before year end 2009 or in a worse case scenario, in early in 2010. Unemployment levels were predicted to bottom out at 8.1%. This prediction was made 3 weeks ago, in early March 2009.  http://seekingalpha.com/article/124458-obama-s-unemployment-forecast-much-too-rosy . Those predictions have already proved to be overly optimistic as the February unemployment numbers (released in March) indicated that the unemployment rate had, in fact, already hit 8.1%. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm  An additional 651,000 jobs were lost in February 2009. Unemployment increased 1/2 a percentage point in February. Unemployment last year (February 2008) was 4.8%. Unemployment increased 60% in the 12 months between February 2008 & February 2009 . http://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.nr0.htm

Preliminary unemployment numbers for March continue to be bleak. “There is no sign of even a temporary easing in the downward pressure on employment,”Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, wrote in a client note. http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2009/03/19/2009-03-19_new_jobless_claims_fall_more_than_expect-2.html

Initial claims have topped 600,000 for seven straight weeks, a level that many economists say is consistent with another huge drop in net payrolls when the Labor Department issues its monthly employment report next month. Net job losses could top 700,000 in March, Shepherdson said, which would bring total losses to above 5 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007. http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2009/03/19/2009-03-19_new_jobless_claims_fall_more_than_expect-2.html

Unemployment for March 2009 may hit 9%. The unemployment rate in March 2008 was 5.1%. Unemployment this March is almost twice as high. http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2008/apr/wk1/art01.htm 

Economic Output

“Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts suggest that national economic conditions deteriorated further during the reporting period of January through late February.  Ten of the twelve reports indicated weaker conditions or declines in economic activity; the exceptions were Philadelphia and Chicago, which reported that their regional economies “remained weak.”  The deterioration was broad based, with only a few sectors such as basic food production and pharmaceuticals appearing to be exceptions.  Looking ahead, contacts from various Districts rate the prospects for near-term improvement in economic conditions as poor, with a significant pickup not expected before late 2009 or early 2010. http://www.federalreserve.gov/fomc/beigebook/2009/20090304/FullReport.htm

“US economic output slumps.” “The United States economy shrank at a rate of 3.8 per cent in the fourth financial quarter of 2008, formally plunging the country into recession, the US government has said. The figure marked a sharp drop compared to the third financial quarter, in which the growth rate fell by only 0.5 per cent, the commerce department said on Friday.” http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2009/01/20091301517711306.html , http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/99xx/doc9957/01-07-Outlook.pdf

World growth is projected to fall to ½ percent in 2009, its lowest rate since World War II. Despite wide-ranging policy actions, financial strains remain acute, pulling down the real economy. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2009/update/01/index.htm

Economic Report: Industrial Production: US industrial production, output at the nation’s factories, mines, and utilities, decreased a hefty 1.8% in the month of January, after falling a downwardly-revised 2.4% in December, according to the Federal Reserve. After declines in five of the last six months, production has decreased 10% in the past year, an astonishing number. The report was significantly below estimations, as economists were expecting a 1.5% decrease in output. Capacity utilization, a key gauge of inflationary pressures, fell to 72% from 73.6%. This is the lowest level since February 1983, and 9 percentage points below its average level from 1972 to 2007. Lower capacity usually leads to slower inflation, as producers compete with each other for work. http://alhambrainvestments.com/blog/2009/02/18/economic-report-industrial-production-3/

Global Business Cycle Indicators: Leading Economic Indicators declined in February. The weaknesses among the leading indicators have remained widespread in recent months. http://www.conference-board.org/economics/bci/pressRelease_output.cfm?cid=1

National Economic Update: “Recently released data indicate that the economic contraction has intensified at a pace associated with severe recessions. Two consecutive quarters of negative real growth, striking job losses and deep declines in both manufacturing and services output defined year-end 2008. While the economic outlook remains bleak for the first half of 2009, a few indicators suggest that the pace of contraction may slow in coming months.” http://dallasfed.org/research/update-us/2009/0901.cfm The rate of contraction “maybe” slowing in the months ahead – not that the descent on the economic elevator to hell is slowing at this time. 

Durable Good Orders Drop: Durable good orders also painted a grim outlook. “Demand for U.S.-made durable goods fell for the sixth straight month in January.  Orders for durable goods  such as PC’s,  planes,  and washing machines fell 5.2% in January. Orders fell in every major sector”. http://www.chartingstocks.net/2009/02/jobless-claims-jump-durable-good-orders-drop/ After a small uptick  in February early indications for March are not good. For both the Philly and New York Fed manufacturing reports, the new orders index fell in both February and March. Both surveys have data for a given reference month that overlaps two actual months (the March report includes data from both late February and early March). http://gain.econoday.com/byshoweventfull.asp?fid=437975&cust=gain

The datum does not suggest the recovery has started, but the descent into hell maybe slowing. We are still descending, but not as quickly. Lets hope the policies being implement are the correct ones and we don’t suddenly accelerate into oblivion. I, for one, doubt that we can spend our way out of recession or borrow our way out of debt.

Jobless claims jump unexpectedly to 7-year high

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of newly laid-off individuals seeking unemployment benefits has jumped to a level not seen since just after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. [What companies were “bailed out” in 2001? None? Is that so.]

The Labor Department on Thursday reported that jobless claims last week increased by 32,000 to a seasonally adjusted 516,000. That nearly matched the 517,000 claims reported seven years ago, and is only the second time since 1992 that claims have topped 500,000. [1992, wasn’t that in the middle of Clinton’s first term? Isn’t Obama working with Clinton’s Economic team].

The increase puts jobless claims at levels similar to the recession of the early 1990s. The four-week average of claims, which smooths out fluctuations, increased to 491,000, the highest in more than 17 years. [Oh, they mean the Clinton Recession! Why don’t they call it that. The Clinton Recession. Things have not been this bad since the Clinton Recession – Then we would know what they mean. By the way what Industry did Clinton Bailout? None! Are you sure? Here I thought it was all “good times” during the Clinton years – that Obama would bring back the Clinton years. Looks like the Democratic Congress beat him to it!].

Jobless rate bolts to high not seen since Clinton Administration – Unemployment 14 year high of 6.5 percent

UPDATED HERE: https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2009/09/05/unemployment-and-1st-time-unemployment-claims-are-on-the-rise/

Jobless rate bolts to 14-year high of 6.5 percent

By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON – The nation’s unemployment rate bolted to a 14-year high of 6.5 percent in October as another 240,000 jobs were cut, far worse than economists expected and stark proof the economy is deteriorating at an alarmingly rapid pace.

The new snapshot, released Friday by the Labor Department, showed the crucial jobs market quickly eroding. The jobless rate zoomed to 6.5 percent in October from 6.1 percent in September.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081107/ap_on_bi_go_ec_fi/economy

Let me see, 14 years ago. That would be 1994. The middle of Clinton’s first term. A Democratic Congress then and a Democratic Congress now – getting more liberal by the minute.

I thought the Clinton days were the days of “Milk & Honey” – things don’t get better than that.

Well, that is true compared with the Carter Administration days – where we seem to be headed.

The current (2008) “Prime Interest Rate”  – 4%                 http://www.bankrate.com/brm/ratewatch/leading-rates.asp

Under Jimmy Carter Interest rates topped out at 21.5% in Decemeber 1980, 5 times higher than today.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Carter

2008 Unemployment Rate: (4.9% January 2008 – 6.5 % October 2008) 2008 Average – 5.52% http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutputServletdata_tool=latest_numbers&series_id=LNS14000000

Under Jimmy Carter unemployment topped out at a whopping, double digit  – 11.3% – in some states. Twice as high as the 2008 National Average.

http://www.deptofnumbers.com/unemployment/michigan/

The 2008 average inflation rate 4.3%. http://inflationdata.com/inflation/inflation_rate/CurrentInflation.asp

Under Jimmy Carter – 14% inflation. 

http://economics.about.com/od/useconomichistory/a/stagflation.htm

One last comparison, “The media discovered and promoted Carter. As Lawrence Shoup noted in his 1980 book The Carter Presidency and Beyond:

“What Carter had that his opponents did not was the acceptance and support of elite sectors of the mass communications media. It was their favorable coverage of Carter and his campaign that gave him an edge, propelling him rocket-like to the top of the opinion polls. This helped Carter win key primary election victories, enabling him to rise from an obscure public figure to President-elect in the short space of 9 months.”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Carter

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