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Old 02-24-2010, 07:07 PM   #41
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:13 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by traineeinvestor View Post
The unemployment rate is officially falling and will almost certainly drop below 5% later this year.
Edited to add: NOTE - traineeinvestor was talking about the unemployment rate in Hong Kong. The reference I posted below about the US unemployment rate is still worth reading.

It the unemployment rate gets below 9% by the end of this year we'll be doing about as well as I can hope for. Unemployment rates just don't drop that fast, and especially not now after such a deep recession.
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The real problem is that the rate of decline in joblessness slows during the rest of the economic expansion. The annual post-war pace of decline in unemployment during these periods has been reasonably uniform, the median being 0.5 percent a year.

If that pattern persists, the U.S. economy needs to keep expanding without interruption until 2020 for unemployment to fall to its pre-recession low of 4.4 percent. Should the next recession arrive earlier, as we suspect, it will take much longer. The implications constitute nothing short of a wake-up call for policy makers who promise to get job growth back on track.

Analysis: Good News On Jobs, But Will It Last? : NPR
Those years of 5% and lower unemployment rates are long gone - we might not see unemployment rates that low for decades.

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Old 02-24-2010, 07:14 PM   #43
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Well, I'm pleasantly surprised to see that their are many folks seeing the recovery taking place. I suspect it all depends on location but at least somebody's doing well.

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You missed it. March 2009 was the time to go all in.
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:15 PM   #44
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Yes, retail seems to be slowing down again. I was at Banana Republic yesterday and it was just me and 4 sales associates. And that was during a well publicized 4-hour sales event!
Folks aren't paying $85 for a t-shirt at banana republic. They're paying $9 for a t-shirt at Target or Walmart.
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:16 PM   #45
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:17 PM   #46
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You have some great anecdotal evidence posted showing recovery. But to this conjecture I have to say you are way off base.

It the unemployment rate gets below 9% by the end of this year we'll be doing about as well as I can hope for. Unemployment rates just don't drop that fast, and especially not now after such a deep recession.


Those years of 5% and lower unemployment rates are long gone - we might not see unemployment rates that low for decades.

Audrey
Audrey - I was referring to the unemployment rate here in Hong Kong. Sadly, I agree with you on the situation in the US.

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Old 02-24-2010, 07:21 PM   #47
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Audrey - I was referring to the unemployment rate here in Hong Kong. Sadly, I agree with you on the situation in the US.

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Oops! I had no idea you were talking about Hong Kong! Totally different story for Asia/Pacific (ex Japan).

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Old 02-24-2010, 07:21 PM   #48
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Those years of 5% and lower unemployment rates are long gone - we might not see unemployment rates that low for decades.
If ever.
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:35 PM   #49
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Some more anecdotal evidence of Asian recovery taken from today's local newspaper:

China Airlines is adding one additional cabin crew to flights between Taiwan and the PRC - just to cater for the increased demand for in flight shopping on a 1.5 hour flight. In flight sales went up 20% after they did this

Spring Airlines (a PRC budget carrier) is consdering offering in flight real estate sales (despite some legal issues and need for staff training)

Cathay Pacific, China Airlines and Singapore Airlines are considering offering a home delivery service for in flight shoppers
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:37 PM   #50
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Those years of 5% and lower unemployment rates are long gone - we might not see unemployment rates that low for decades.

Audrey
Yup. Even with the roaring boom in the 80's it took about six years to get back to full employment (5%) from ~10%

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Old 02-24-2010, 07:41 PM   #51
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Where?
Oh! So your brokerage Web site does not provide those buttons like the ones mine gives me.

Just joking... Check your PM.
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:02 PM   #52
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Folks aren't paying $85 for a t-shirt at banana republic. They're paying $9 for a t-shirt at Target or Walmart.

Banana Republic has incredible sales . They keep marking their items down until they are on a par (price wise ) with Target .
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:21 PM   #53
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So we're talking about "signs of recovery", then I'll offer this one.
I w**k in manufacturing chemicals that are used in all households, textiles and auto industry.
We are operating at full capacity with projections for operating this way the entire year. We are hiring personnel now for employment within 4 weeks time. The restaurants in this area are packed each night and the stores are crowded every time I go near them.
As I drive to w**k each day though, I definitely see less vehicles on the road so I'm sure there are less projects being worked in the area, and less contractors employed. There were a lot of applicants for the openings we had.
Seems like the last business downturn affected us a lot more than this
this one has.
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:23 PM   #54
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Banana Republic has incredible sales . They keep marking their items down until they are on a par (price wise ) with Target .
Yep, I rarely pay full price at Banana Republic. I always get tons of coupons and I shop there when they have sales. I have never paid more than $20 for a T-shirt at BR. And the BR t-shirts last much longer than the cheapy Target t-shirts.
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:33 PM   #55
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Banana Republic has incredible sales . They keep marking their items down until they are on a par (price wise ) with Target .
Hmmm - I notice as a contra indicator - the amount of 'good stuff' donated for sale at Salvation Army, Goodwill and DAV has gone down.

People donating will probably parallel the unemployment - slowly improve.

heh heh heh - ok ok so I did buy a Stetson at Dillards and a winter coat at Pennys this year - to help the economy(actually cause I felt like it). But in my heart - still a 'cheap SOB.' Will I (a consumer of one) gradually loosen up and spend more as the year goes on?? Will Joe Consumer join me? I'm betting yes.
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:59 PM   #56
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In finance in NY, which got decimated, I don't know anyone who's out of work.
Ditto. In fact, I work at a place that absorbed many Wall Street refugees. Those people are starting to leave in droves (bordering on a stampede) to go back to the lucrative private sector jobs from whence they came. I am not far from wondering if I should do the same.
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:31 PM   #57
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I've been to that BB&B store several times, as it was the closest to us when we first moved to NYC. It has NEVER been very busy,and I wonder if it is a long-term money loser that is there for profiling the name more than anything else. There isn't a lot of dense housing around there, and if you are buying bulky houseware type stuff it is often easier to do it on line and get it delivered rather than trying to schlep everything home on the subway or in a taxi. I think the one on the upper east side probably gets more business -- it has seemed busier when I have been in that one. Anyway, I think a better barometer of how the midtown NYC economy is doing is probably hotel occupancy rates, sales of theatre tickets, and restaurant business. A lot of the economic activity in midtown is driven by tourism, and most people (at least the ones with sense) come to NYC to see what they can't get elsewhere, not to shop at the chain stores that they have at home.

We just got back from a trip to visit family in the seattle area. On the eastside, business seemed strong -- usually plenty of people at Target, Fred Meyer and Costco. We only went out to eat a few times, but there were lots of people. Took the kids to Great Wolf Lodge and it was PACKED -- but it was a vacation week, so that is probably not too surprising. Didn't spend too much time in Seattle proper, but U Village was full of cars the night I went, and there were a decent number of people milling around/spending money for a week night.

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Old 02-25-2010, 03:49 AM   #58
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I don't see much anecdotal evidence that things are getting much better, business is pretty quite in Waikiki, tourist place that I volunteer at aren't doing great. Hotel vacancy rates are up from a year ago but prices are flat to down. Of course, I only shop at Costco for the most part and it is generally busy but not crazy.

However, I have been listening Schwab's economist Liz Ann Sonders for months and she has been painting a statistical picture of things definitely improving. Ironically, she thinks the market pretty much has already anticipated a significant increase in sales and corporate profits.

The thigk that is very concerning to me is what is the impact of the stimulus funds ending or being reduced. Most state and local government have depending on Uncle Sam to meet state employee payrolls and services, if states have to lay off employees this could bring the recovery to crashing halt. Of course if you believe that stimulus had no impact on employment than ending it won't matter. Personally, I expect to see a W shaped recovery.

Of course my opinion is worth as much as you all pay to read it.
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Old 02-25-2010, 05:46 AM   #59
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I work on Wall Street, the labor market is getting very hot again. It picked up toward the 2nd half of last year, but now that we've paid our bonuses we're starting to see some real turnover again.
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Old 02-25-2010, 05:53 AM   #60
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I also agree that 5% unemployment rate is long gone. Employers are and will do almost anything to keep costs down - and the biggest cost is payroll. Employers also do not like the uncertainty in the way that the gov't is affecting employee benefits (health care, SS, taxes). Why hire more people if you don't have a clue know what the total costs will be? I see most companies tweaking their current workforces to make them productive enough to meet anticipated demand.

I saw a big decrease in spending in 2008 -2009. Restaurants, stores, auto dealers, etc. The 10% (probably much greater) unemployed were and still are spending very little. The others reduced their spending because their pay was cut, or their portfolios tanked, or their jobs were in jeopardy. People have become accustomed to living on less, and its going to be a long time before they spend the way they used to. Baby boomers retiring in record numbers are further reducing spending.

This recovery is going to take a long time - perhaps decades
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