Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.UK Interest Rates, Economy GDP Forecasts 2016 and 2017 - Nadeem_Walayat
2.How Far Can Gold Price Go? - Bob_Kirtley
3.If You Miss Buying Gold – You Will Regret, it Later - Chris_Vermeulen
4.US Dollar Double Top, Gold Prospects Brightening Rapidly - Clive_Maund
5.Gold Price, Mining Stocks Rocket Higher - Zeal_LLC
6.US Economy Slides One Step Further Towards A Recession - Dr_David_J_Harris
7.Stock Market S&P, NAS Best, Most Reliable Answers Come From The Market And You - Michael_Noonan
8.UK Interest Rates, Economy Forecasts 2016 and 2017 - Video - Nadeem_Walayat
9.David Cameron Humiliated in Poland Over Refusal to Stop Taking UK Benefits, BrExit or Super State? - Nadeem_Walayat
10.2016 - Gold & Silver Rising: A Gold And Silver Bottom May Be In - Darryl_R_Schoon
Last 5 days
France CAC40 Stock Market Technical Outlook - 13th Feb 16
Potential Stocks Bear Market Uptrend Underway - 13th Feb 16
HUI Gold Stocks …Meet Me at The Bottomz Inn ? - 13th Feb 16
Is This the Debt Bubbles Last Rattle? - 12th Feb 16
Gold Stocks Upside Targets - 12th Feb 16
Stock Market Observations - 12th Feb 16
Will Capital Controls Return? - 12th Feb 16
Gold, Gold Stocks, and the End Game - 12th Feb 16
Canadian Dollar Now Even Less of a Haven from US Dollar Collapse Than Before - 12th Feb 16
The Stock Market Dow Elevator; 18, 17, 16.... - 12th Feb 16
Will Harry Dent Eat Crow on His $700 Gold Price Prediction? - 12th Feb 16
Where to Hide Your Money From Reckless Governments - 12th Feb 16
The War on Cash is About to Go into Hyperdrive - 11th Feb 16
More Bankruptcy For Your Retirement Portfolio - 11th Feb 16
2016 - Gold & Silver Rising: A Gold And Silver Bottom May Be In - 11th Feb 16
Gain Trading Confidence by Improving Your Elliott Wave Analysis Skills - Video - 11th Feb 16
With A Gloomy Start To 2016, A Bust Seems Just Around The Corner - 11th Feb 16
UK Interest Rates, Economy Forecasts 2016 and 2017 - Video - 10th Feb 16
World Markets Are in Sync - 10th Feb 16
If You Miss Buying Gold – You Will Regret, it Later - 10th Feb 16
The Fed Doesn't have a Clue! - 10th Feb 16
How Far Can Gold Price Go? - 10th Feb 16
It's Stock Market Panic Time! - 9th Feb 16
Gold Stocks Picks for Patient Pickers - 9th Feb 16
Oil Price Collapse U.S. Recession Odds 2016 - 9th Feb 16
Preparing for Crisis - It's About Risk Mitigation and Capital Preservation - 9th Feb 16
Top Silver Mining CEO: Don't Laugh, We Could See Silver $100+ - 8th Feb 16
Gold, Investment Leadership Changes Permanent? - 8th Feb 16
Stock Market Panic Decline Begins... - 8th Feb 16
How to Save Money By Growing Your Own Homegrown Tomatoes Indoors From Seeds - 8th Feb 16
US Economy Slides One Step Further Towards A Recession - 8th Feb 16
Gold Bear Market Bottom : Mr. Bear has left the PM Sector for Greener Pastures - 8th Feb 16
Stock Market At Important Support - 8th Feb 16
David Cameron Humiliated in Poland Over Refusal to Stop Taking UK Benefits, BrExit or Super State? - 8th Feb 16
Why Crude Oil Prices Could Continue FALLING From Here - 7th Feb 16
Stock Market S&P, NAS Best, Most Reliable Answers Come From The Market And You - 7th Feb 16
Stocks Bear Market Continues - 7th Feb 16
Silver COT Paving Way for Sustained Upside Breakout Sharp Rally - 7th Feb 16
US Dollar Double Top, Gold Prospects Brightening Rapidly - 7th Feb 16
Gold And Silver - Is A Bottom In? Nothing Confirmed - 7th Feb 16
Gold Stocks Something has Changed - 6th Feb 16
UK Interest Rates, Economy GDP Forecasts 2016 and 2017 - 6th Feb 16

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Global Financial Crisis 2016

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

Economics

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% ....post-recession! (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 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - 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

Biggest Debt Bomb in History