David Kirkpatrick

September 10, 2010

A glimmer of economic hope …

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:33 pm

… new jobless benefits claims down. Of course with this unemployment there’s just not that many jobs to lose thusly creating the newly jobless.

January 22, 2010

A tiny ray of economic hope

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:02 pm

It’s not much, but anything ought to feel pretty good right now. Especially with unemployment still dogging the economy.

From the link (bold text is my emphasis):

The number of newly-laid off workers seeking jobless benefits unexpectedly rose last week, as the economy recovers at a slow and uneven pace, but a forecast of future economic activity jumped 1.1% in December, suggesting that economic growth could pick up this spring.

Layoffs have slowed and the economy began to grow in last year’s third quarter, but companies are reluctant to hire new workers. The unemployment rate is 10% and many economists expect it to increase in the coming months.

Here’s more detail on the good news portion of the link:

Separately, the 1.1% increase in the Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators was larger than the 0.7% rise that economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected.

December 3, 2009

Wait a sec on that dire unemployment news …

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:55 pm

The most recent Beige Book from the Fed finds unemployment the big problem in the current economy, but maybe better times are coming sooner than later. I’m still not going to hold my breath.

From the second link:

The number of U.S. workers filing new applications for jobless insurance unexpectedly fell last week to the lowest level in more than 14 months, government data showed on Thursday, pointing to a moderation in the pace of job losses.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 457,000 in the week ended November 28 from a downwardly revised 462,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said. Claims have dropped for five consecutive weeks.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 480,000 from a previously reported 466,000.

The report covers the Thanksgiving holiday and a Labor Department economist said both actual and seasonally adjusted claims were down.

April 30, 2009

Unemployment news

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:58 pm

Not so good.

From the link:

Unemployment rates rose in all of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas for the third straight month in March, with Indiana’s Elkhart-Goshen once again logging the biggest gain.

The Labor Department reported Wednesday all 372 metropolitan areas tracked saw jobless rates move higher last month from a year earlier. Elkhart-Goshen’s rate soared to 18.8 percent, a 13 percentage-point increase. That was the fourth-highest jobless rate in the country.

The Indiana region has been hammered by layoffs in the recreational vehicle industry. RV makers Monaco Coach Corp. Keystone RV Co. and Pilgrim International have sliced hundreds of jobs.

The jobless rate jumped to 17 percent in Bend, Ore., a 9.2 percentage-point rise and the second-biggest monthly gainer. Bend for years has been the center of the central Oregon real estate and construction boom, largely fueled by retirees from California. Many of them bought vacation or retirement homes in high-end rural developments called destination resorts, which the state began allowing in 1984 as an exception to land use laws that otherwise aim to preserve rural land from development.

And if you want more food for not so happy thoughts:

Unemployment rates in 109 metropolitan areas reached 10% or higher in March, almost eight times more than a year earlier, according to a government report released Wednesday.

Just 14 cities reported jobless rates of at least 10% last year, the Labor Department said.

The March 2009 report said unemployment rates in all of the nation’s 372 metropolitan areas rose in March compared with the same month in the prior year.

Jobless rates of at least 15% were reported in March in 18 areas, compared with only one – El Centro, Calif. – the previous year.

The number of metropolitan regions that had unemployment rates under 7% dropped significantly to 95 from 329 in March 2008.

A total of 33 metro areas registered unemployment rates that were at least 6 percentage points higher than a year ago, and another 42 areas’ increases were 5 to 5.9 percentage points.

April 6, 2009

Job loss at 50-year high

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:18 pm

Ouch.

From the link:

Here’s another sign of how bad the recession is: It has eliminated more jobs as a proportion of the work force than any downturn since 1958, according to economists.

The Labor Department said Friday that employers cut 663,000 jobs last month, bringing the total net losses in the current recession to 5.1 million. The unemployment rate rose to 8.5 percent in March, the department said, the highest in more than 25 years.

Go below the fold for more stats from the link: (more…)

March 9, 2009

Is the US economy shifting?

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:08 am

The continued unemployment suggests just that. Some businesses will likely fundementally change and some of those lost jobs just are not coming back.

From the link:

The unemployment rate surged to 8.1 percent, from 7.6 percent in January, its highest level in a quarter-century. In key industries — manufacturing, financial services and retail — layoffs have accelerated so quickly in recent months as to suggest that many companies are abandoning whole areas of business.

 

”These jobs aren’t coming back,” said John E. Silvia, chief economist at Wachovia in Charlotte, N.C. ”A lot of production either isn’t going to happen at all, or it’s going to happen somewhere other than the United States. There are going to be fewer stores, fewer factories, fewer financial services operations. Firms are making strategic decisions that they don’t want to be in their businesses.”

This dynamic has proved true in past recessions as well, with fading industries pushed to the brink during downturns before others emerged to create jobs when economic growth inevitably resumed. But with job losses so enormous over such a short period of time, some economists argue that the latest crisis challenges the traditional American response to hard times.

For decades, the government has reacted to downturns by handing out temporary unemployment insurance checks, relying upon the resumption of economic growth to restore the jobs lost. This time, the government needs to place a greater emphasis on retraining workers for other careers, these economists say.

The grim scorecard of contraction in the American workplace released by the Labor Department on Friday largely destroyed what hopes remained for an economic recovery in the first half of this year, and it added to a growing sense that 2009 is probably a lost cause.

Most economists now assume American fortunes cannot improve before the last months of the year, as the Obama administration’s $787 billion emergency spending program begins to wash through the economy.

”The current pace of decline is breathtaking,” said Robert Barbera, chief economist at the research and trading firm ITG. ”We are now falling at a near record rate in the postwar period and there’s been no change in the violent downward trajectory.”