Friday, January 9, 2009

Calculated Risk on Employment Numbers and Part time Employed

Employment Declines Sharply, Unemployment Rises to 7.2 Percent

by CalculatedRisk on 1/09/2009 08:30:00 AM

From the BLS:

Nonfarm payroll employment declined sharply in December, and the unemployment rate rose from 6.8 to 7.2 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Payroll employment fell by 524,000 over the month and by 1.9 million over the last 4 months of 2008. In December, job losses were large and widespread across most major industry sectors.
Employment Measures and Recessions Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the unemployment rate and the year over year change in employment vs. recessions.

Nonfarm payrolls decreased by 524,00 in December, and November payrolls were revised down to a loss of 584,000 jobs. The economy has lost over 1.5 million jobs over the last 3 months alone!

The unemployment rate rose to 7.2 percent; the highest level since January 1993.

Year over year employment is now strongly negative (there were 2.6 million fewer Americans employed in Dec 2008 than in Dec 2007). This is another extremely weak employment report ...

Over 8 Million Part Time Workers

by CalculatedRisk on 1/09/2009 09:01:00 AM

From the BLS report:

In December, the number of persons who worked part time for economic reasons (some-times referred to as involuntary part-time workers) continued to increase, reaching 8.0 million. The number of such workers rose by 3.4 million over the past 12 months. This category includes persons who would like to work full time but were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time jobs.
Employment Measures and Recessions Click on graph for larger image.

Not only has the unemployment rate risen sharply to 7.2%, but the number of workers only able to find part time jobs (or have had their hours cut for economic reasons) is now over 8 million.

Of course the U.S. population is significantly larger today (about 305 million) than in the early '80s (about 228 million) when the number of part time workers almost reached 7 million, but the rapid increase in part time workers is pretty stunning.

Calculated Risk: On Roubini's 2 yr recession

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Roubini: Two Year Recession
by CalculatedRisk on 1/08/2009 04:30:00 PM

From Rex Nutting at MarketWatch: Roubini forecasts recession will last 2 years

The U.S. recession will last two full years, with gross domestic product falling a cumulative 5%, said Nouriel Roubini, ... For 2009, Roubini predicts GDP will fall 3.4%, with declines in every quarter of the year. The unemployment rate should peak at about 9% in early 2010 ...
Roubini is forecasting a pretty serious recession, but far short of a "depression" which is usually defined as a 10% decline in real GDP.

The concensus (and the Fed forecast) is that the economy will bottom in Q2 2009 with a sluggish recovery in the 2nd half of this year.

The recession started officially around Dec 06 - Jan 07. Roubini is prediciting that the recession will last through Jan ' 09 ish. This is exactly my prediction as well (read earlier posts) and I believe Calculated Risk has come up with similar projections himself. Its worth bearing in mind that my projection is based on the following "givens": Obama's Stimulus plan being over 800B and that the US will nationalize major banks QUICKLY. Both of these are policy responses and may not happen in Q1 of 2008 and if there is a substantial delay by the Obama Administration - the recession may drag out further into 2010. I am making my business plans on the assumption that Q1 of 2010 will see the end of the recession.