Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Stock Market Crash and Recession Indicator Warning: Extreme Danger Ahead - Harry_Dent
2. Is This How World War III Begins, In Almost Complete Silence? - Jeff_Berwick
3.Trump Wins 2nd Presidential Debate, Betfair Betting Markets Odds Bounce - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Why Krugman, Roubini, Rogoff And Buffett Dislike Gold - GoldCore
5.End of SPX Stock Market Correction Nears - Tony_Caldaro
6.Get Ready for the Future - Exponential Machine Intelligence Mega-trend towards Singularity - Nadeem_Walayat
7.US Housing Market Bubble II – It’s Happening Again! - Andy_Sutton
8.FTSE BrExit Stock Market Panic Crash Resolves towards New All Time Highs - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Can Trump Still Win Despite Opinion Polls, Bookmakers and Pundits all Saying Hillary has Won? - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Gold’s, Miners’ Stops Run - Zeal_LLC
Last 7 days
Demand for US Mints Silver Eagles has ‘Returned with a Vengeance’ - 21st Oct 16
Central Bankers Can't Stop The Death Blow Of The Post US Election Recession - 21st Oct 16
The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Golden Opportunity for Frontier Asia - 21st Oct 16
Have You Taken These 4 Simple Steps to Improve Your Trading? - 21st Oct 16
The Stock Market is an Accident Waiting to Happen - 20th Oct 16
It's Rally Time for Gold and Silver Equities - 20th Oct 16
Cashless Society – Risks Posed By The War On Cash - 20th Oct 16
China's Insanely Leveraged Housing Market Will Enter Its Secular Bull Market In 2017 - 20th Oct 16
Donald Trump Bounces Going into 3rd and Final US Presidential Election Debate - 20th Oct 16
Attention Please: Phase Two of the Gold and Silver Train Now leaving the Station. All Aboard? - 19th Oct 16
How to Successfully Trade a Stock Market Crash - Black Monday October 19th 1987 - 19th Oct 16
Tesla, Apple and Uber Push Lithium Prices Even Higher - 18th Oct 16
Silver, Debt, and Deficits – From an Election Year Perspective - 18th Oct 16
UK Property Market: Slow Growth Does Not Equate To Decline - 18th Oct 16
Trump Election Victory is in Your Power - 18th Oct 16
Stock Market More to Come! - 18th Oct 16
This Past Week in Gold and Silver - 17th Oct 16
A Falling Stock Market Cannot Be Allowed - Financial Repression Is Now “In-Play”! - 17th Oct 16
Commodities, Forex and Stock Market Trend Forecasts - 17th Oct 16
Stock Market Crash..or No Crash? - 17th Oct 16
A perspective on risk rally – Risks abound but Stock Market is Confident - 17th Oct 16
Bank of England Blames Brexit for Sterling Drop Inflation, Masks QE Money Printing Cause - 17th Oct 16
From Piety to Pride to Pity, America's Racial Divide - 17th Oct 16
Is Obama Juicing US Government Spending To Get Hillary Clinton Elected? - 16th Oct 16
Seek Your Independence: Anything Else Will Destroy You - 16th Oct 16
SNL - US Presidential Debates, 1st, 2nd, VP - Like You've Never Seen them Before! - 16th Oct 16
End of Economic Growth Sparks Wide Discontent - 16th Oct 16
Donald Trump on Life Support, May Abandon Election Campaign and War on Republican Party - 15th Oct 16
The Gold Manipulators Not Only Will Be Punished, They Have Been Punished - 15th Oct 16
Black Votes Matter - Is the US on the Verge of Mass Race Riots? - 15th Oct 16
Gold Stocks Screaming Buy - 14th Oct 16
Brace Yourself for the Quadrillion-Dollar Reckoning - 14th Oct 16
The Next Recession Will Blow Out the Budget - 14th Oct 16
John Mauldin: My Infrastructure Plan to Save the US Economy - 14th Oct 16
World War III On The Brink: War Will Continue Until It Triggers Economic Collapse - 14th Oct 16
US T-Bill Rejection At Ports In Progress - 14th Oct 16
These 2 Debt Instruments Pose Peril to Millions of Investors - 14th Oct 16
China’s Rocketing Housing Market Real Estate Bubble - 14th Oct 16
DIY Winter Home Maintenance Money Saving 22 Point Checklist to Get Ready for Winter/Fall - 14th Oct 16
US Stock Market, Big Picture View - 13th Oct 16
Stock Buybacks Main Force Driving Bull Market; Rewards Investors and Starves Innovation - 13th Oct 16
SPX Gapping Down... - 13th Oct 16
Syria - Obama Stepped Back From Brink, Will Hillary? - 13th Oct 16
The Structure and Future of Gold in the Investment and Monetary World - 13th Oct 16
Can Trump Still Win Despite Opinion Polls, Bookmakers and Pundits all Saying Hillary has Won? - 12th Oct 16
Gold and Crude Oil - General Stock Market Links - 12th Oct 16
Samsung's Galaxy Battery Just The Tip Of The Iceberg - 12th Oct 16
Hillary: Deceit, Debt, Delusions (Part Two) - 12th Oct 16
Gold and Silver Metals Show Strength Relative to the USD Index - 12th Oct 16
Announcing Trader Education Week -- a Free Event to Help You Learn to Spot Trading Opportunities - 12th Oct 16
Confirmed Stock Market Sell Signals - 11th Oct 16
Hillary Deceit, Debt, Delusions - 11th Oct 16
Trump Support Crashes to New Low of 6.4 on Betfair Odds Betting Market - 11th Oct 16
The World Is Turning Dangerously Insular - 11th Oct 16
An American Tragedy: Trump Won Big - 11th Oct 16

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

LEARN to Trade

Number of Discouraged American Workers Hit Record High: QE3 = A Matter of When

Economics / Employment Jan 09, 2011 - 08:32 AM GMT

By: Dian_L_Chu


Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe latest U.S. Labor Department data indicated that non-farm payroll added 103,000 jobs in December, which is far short of expectation, but the unemployment rate somehow managed to fall sharply to 9.4% (from 9.8% in November) far exceeding expectation.

103k Jobs Not Enough To Drop Unemployment Rate

The current consensus is that the U.S. economy would need to create 150,000 to 175,000 new jobs each month in the next 5 years or so, at minimum, just to restore the 8+ million jobs wiped out by the Great Recession.

Since the nation added only 1.1 million jobs in total last year, or averaging 94,000 jobs a month, the 103,000 new jobs added, coupled with a 0.4% drop in unemployment rate in December, simply does not make much sense.

Totally Discouraged

Nevertheless, a closer look at data the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tells that the drop in unemployment had very little to do with newly created jobs. Instead, it was primarily due to 260,000 workers dropping out of the labor force. As a result, the labor force has shrunk by 246,000 from the pre-crisis 2007 level (The U.S. labor force average growth rate is supposed to be around 0.8% per year from 2000 to 2050, according to Joel Kotkin, a scholar on urban development.)

Furthermore, not only the number of discouraged workers over job prospects hit a record high (since 1994, the earliest year the data is available) of just over 1.3 million (Fig. 1)--more than the number of jobs added in 2010--but the labor participation rate also plunged to a 25-year low of 64.3%! (Fig. 2).

Most Disturbing – Long Term Unemployed

Most disturbingly, the average number of weeks people remain unemployed also has risen to 34.2 weeks in December vs. 33.9 weeks in November, with 6.4 million jobless people classified as long-term unemployed, i.e. without a job for 27+ weeks.

The All Inclusive Jobless Rate Could Be 11%+

All these suggest there is a large number of frustrated workers who left the labor pool but unaccounted for in the unemployment rate calculation. That means the all inclusive jobless rate could easily be 11% or more, instead of the 9.4% flashing in headlines today.

Needed - 300k Jobs Per Month

Overall, the latest employment report seems to reflect a painfully slow-recovering, but still confused labor market. Large corporations are hoarding cash reluctant to hire or invest fearing uncertainties ahead, while small business still strapped for cash and credit can’t afford to hire since business is still slow.

Most economists estimate that that in order to make a meaningful dent in the jobless situation while keeping up with the labor force growth rate, new job creation needs to be at around 300,000 a month going forward, which is a long way from where the economy is right now (Fig. 3).

Worse Before Better

Furthermore, since the long-term unemployment benefits have been renewed, they could bring more people back into the labor force leading to a rise in the unemployment rate. So, things may get worse before they get better, and that Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke is probably right when he said it could take “four to five years” before the unemployment rate is back to a more normal 5% or 6%.

Housing & Auto - Key To Jobs

On the other hand, the economy could get there a lot faster beating Bernanke's estimate if both housing and auto sectors could really fire on all cylinders, and if the Administration would really start pushing for more jobs-friendly policies and measures, as the presidential re-election is due in 2012.

QE3 - A Matter of When

Moreover, I think with this latest employment report, it looks like QE3 could be just a question of when, and there’s no way Fed would cut QE2 early as some speculated.

That, of course, will evolve into a total beast by itself later on. But we could always remain hopeful that the U.S. labor market and economy would be strong enough to tackle that equally, if not more, daunting challenge.

Disclosure: No Postions

Dian L. Chu, M.B.A., C.P.M. and Chartered Economist, is a market analyst and financial writer regularly contributing to Seeking Alpha, Zero Hedge, and other major investment websites. Ms. Chu has been syndicated to Reuters, USA Today, NPR, and BusinessWeek. She blogs at Economic Forecasts & Opinions.

© 2010 Copyright Dian L. Chu - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2016 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife