Thursday, November 5, 2009

Upcoming unemployment data

The lead in this article says "unemployment could crack 10%. I have little doubt of that, because passing an inflection point in unemployment only means we are on our way to a turn around, not that we are there already. I'd be surprised if monthly unemployment numbers for this depression fail to reach 10%, and not too surprised if they surpass those for the worst recession in my memory -- which was 10.8% (quarterly average of 10.7%) in late 1982.


The change in the slope seen between my first post on the subject in June and my most recent post in October is indicative of a turnover, but there are indicators that it will coast upward for a few more months.

As another recent article put it, the pace of layoffs is slowing ... which means there are still layoffs and that means unemployment is still growing. The weekly claims are falling -- but are still high at 500,000. As currently shown on this page, where the employment and unemployment numbers will appear on Friday, job cuts peaked in January (the inflection point?) but we are still losing jobs.

Except for changes as people drop off of the unemployment rolls, which becomes less likely as Congress again funds an extension of unemployment benefits, we need to see job growth -- not just jobs saved -- before the unemployment rate turns around.

That is bad news for the new Republican governor of NJ, who is clearly hoping that an Obama recovery will make it possible for him to cut taxes, eliminate an 8 billion dollar deficit, and balance his budget without draconian cuts in education, medical care for elderly in nursing homes, and public safety.


Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed reading your Blog, even though it is painful at times. However, there comes a point when the "silent" majority remain silent no more; I believe we are witnessing that now. Here is some polling data for you on NJ, so much for your viewpoint:

Eighty three percent say New Jersey's budget problem is "very serious," up fifteen points since the middle of August. Sixty-eight percent of New Jersey voters would rather "cut services" to balance the state budget while only 23% would prefer to raise taxes.

When will you be posting on the ethics of the CRU scientists??

Lastly, may you and yours have a relaxing and peaceful Thanksgiving.

Doctor Pion said...

I don't see how this conflicts with my opinion. He has promised to cut taxes and cut the budget, which will mean MASSIVE cuts in services that most of the people answering those polls likely cannot comprehend.

Does he start with Medicaid, using a death panel to pick which grandma to kick out of her nursing home?