James Pethokoukis

More on August unemployment

September 4, 2009

I will say, though, that the worst-case scenario for unemployment is fading fast as this chart from economist Robert Brusca shows. (Though one cautionary note: watch out for more state/local government layoffs).

August unemployment at 9.7 percent; 216,000 jobs lost

September 4, 2009

The unemployment rate in August jumped to 9.7 percent from 9.4 percent. The economy lost another 216,000 jobs. While the economy may be shifting into recovery mode, the labor market clearly still needs lots of work. The best-case scenario I can find (4 percent GDP growth next year) still would have the jobless rate at 8.5 percent or so a year from now. Also note that the labor force participation rate remained steady last month. So the blip up in unemployment was not caused by discouraged workers returning to the workforce. Also the broader U6 rate surged to 16.8 percent.

How fast will the U.S. job market bounce back?

August 27, 2009

Economist Robert Brusca thinks he knows:

Right now the job losses in this cycle number 6.9mln, a drop of 5.9% from the peak. It has taken 19 months to get these losses in place. The metrics above suggest that the forecast of how long it will take to get them back should be about 19 months as well (we’ll use 20 months since jobs are still falling). And while that is a long time – nearly two years- it is not so long to restore 6.9mln jobs. If we get them back in 20 months it will take job gains averaging 345,000 per month. Right now that seems like an amazing number. Yet, that is what history says happens. So we’ll see.

Some terrible unemployment data

August 24, 2009

This from IHS Global Insight:

Although there are increasing signs that the economy has bottomed out, IHS Global Insight’s summer forecast shows that a job recovery is still a ways off for most of the nation’s metropolitan areas. Of the 363 metros in the country, just one—McAllen, Texas—will add more than 1,000 jobs this year. While most areas will begin increasing employment again in 2010, it will be tepid, with only 118 metros crossing the 1,000-job mark next year. Solid gains will not return for the majority of the country until 2011.

Will the U.S. job market improve faster than expected?

August 10, 2009

(Lightly microblogging this week from The Great White North)

Ed Yardeni makes the case that the job market may bounce back strongly, kind of (bold is mine):

4 reasons why the July unemployment report was worse than you think

August 8, 2009

Lots of temporary jobs and discouraged job seekers are the story. From David Rosenberg at Gluskin Sheff on the unemployment report:

Why the unemployment rate is headed higher

August 7, 2009

There were no high-fives at the White House today because of this probable economic reality, as explained by the guys at RDQ Economics (the great John Ryding and Conrad DeQuandros):

5 political impacts of today’s July jobs report

August 7, 2009

Rising U.S. unemployment, to borrow a phrase, has been a giant vampire squid wrapped around the face of the Obama administration, sucking out its popularity and thus draining momentum from its legislative agenda. But now the White House received some good news from the jobs front. The unemployment in July unexpectedly fell to 9.4 percent from 9.5 percent in June. This breaks a string of 16-straight months where the unemployment rate had either risen or stayed flat, including every month of the Obama term. (Recall the rate was 7.6 percent in January.)

U.S. jobs numbers: charts edition

August 7, 2009

Another look at the July employment numbers:

080709jobs

Unemployment rate in July slips to 9.4 percent; another 247,000 jobs lost. Yuck

August 7, 2009

The bad news arrives. Here is the latest from the Labor Department on the July unemployment rate and the number of jobs lost (bold is mine):