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Old 12-05-2009, 10:09 AM   #61
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Companies are getting leaner and meaner, doing more with fewer workers and paying them less to do it. It will take time for the pendulum to swing back the other way which bodes poorly for the spending power of the US consumer and likely a long, slow recovery.

DD
That's the truth! My DW is certainly getting meaner since her company has had massive layoff's, she's still there (doing more than ever) and yelling at me every day when she comes home from w*rk (that's OK, I'm retired )...

Funny thing is that she was to retire the same time as me (a bit over 2.5 years ago), but decided to stay in the workforce.

But hey - productivity is up in the U.S. and I can't see employment going up if you can still fill the few orders with the current staff.

Like most of the former downturns (and I'm older than dirt, so I remember a lot of them), employment is the last to return. OTOH, it was the last to get hit after an observed downturn start, so it's just more of the same....
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:46 PM   #62
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But hey - productivity is up in the U.S. and I can't see employment going up if you can still fill the few orders with the current staff.

Like most of the former downturns, employment is the last to return.
The problem on the employment front is that when demand returns employers are going to take up initial slack with existing worker base. The avg. hours worked per week per worker in the country has dropped along with outright unemployment. Hours per worker will go up first before any hiring (and the slack in the system is not insignificant). Put another way, high unemployment is going to be with the US for a considerable time.
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Old 12-05-2009, 02:06 PM   #63
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As long as the market stays up until rebalance day (Jan 4)...
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:49 AM   #64
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The problem on the employment front is that when demand returns employers are going to take up initial slack with existing worker base.
This is always true. Employment is a lagging indicator. But it is one that is now starting to improve . . .

US Unemployment Rate Down to 10.0% from 10.2%

The net job loss of 11,000 workers in November was well below expectations. Prior period revisions have all been positive (fewer job losses than originally estimated). If that trend held in November, then we probably added jobs in November for the first time since December 2007.
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Old 12-06-2009, 11:01 AM   #65
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This is always true. Employment is a lagging indicator. But it is one that is now starting to improve . . .
First, one months data (November) doesn't mean anything.

Second, you have missed the point. Go read some of David Rosenberg (ex Merrill Lynch chief economist) if you want to get into the details.

But in summary, the point is that hiring will not be seen in new jobs, but instead through increased hours of existing workers. The slack in worker hours going back to historical levels is equal to approximately 6 million new jobs (if my memory serves). Until that slack is taken up there will not be meaningful employment gains (re-hiring).

That is the point of my post.
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Old 12-06-2009, 11:56 AM   #66
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I know a few young people who have been told during job interviews that firms are not filling jobs until the economy picks up. I also know a few young people who are up to their asses in alligators at work right now because staff has been cut to the bone.

So based this completely nonscientific and purely anecdotal evidence (but when has that ever stopped me before ) I think once the economy picks up, there is is no way existing staff can handle an increase in production--they can barely handle the work they have now--and there will be new hires.
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Old 12-06-2009, 11:58 AM   #67
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But in summary, the point is that hiring will not be seen in new jobs, but instead through increased hours of existing workers.
Yes, I understood. But this is also not new. It happens after every recession. And thus far, it has never prevented a recovery.

Besides, we don't actually need to see work weeks get back to where they were before the collapse to see net increases in hiring. The industries with the largest slack (homebuilders) will not likely be leaders in any recovery. Other areas have fared better (software, healthcare, etc) and may need to start hiring sooner even though their are plenty of homebuilders working part time, or not at all.

And we're not talking about "one month's" worth of employment data. But rather a downward trend in job losses since January 2009.

I also wonder to what extent businesses over did the layoffs during the downturn. Everyone was preparing for the apocalypse. But it didn't happen. In fact, profitability has turned out better than anyone had hoped. If businesses cut too much last year in preparation for a deeper recession than we actually got, they may need to hire more quickly than any of the prognosticators currently think.
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:24 AM   #68
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And we're not talking about "one month's" worth of employment data. But rather a downward trend in job losses since January 2009.
From Rosenberg this morning:

WAS THE DROP IN THE U.S. UNEMPLOYMENT RATE A BIG DEAL?
In our opinion, the answer is no. This was the eighth time we have seen the unemployment rate go down in a month since it bottomed back in October 2006. Nothing moves in a straight line. The peak still lies ahead of us.

In the prior cycle, the unemployment rate bottomed on April 2000, at 3.8% and peaked at 6.3% on June 2003. During that time, we saw the jobless rate fall five times. In the early 1990s cycle, the unemployment rate actually fell no fewer than six times. Declaring victory because of a one-month wiggle can be dangerous. Especially since a key reason why the jobless rate dipped was because the ranks of discouraged workers who exited the labour force due to grim job prospects jumped 60,000 to 357,000 last month.

He also points out that if indeed unemployment has peaked that is NOT good news for earnings because most of the gains companies have been showing has been driven by cost savings (i.e. laying off employees).
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:51 AM   #69
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From Rosenberg this morning:



WAS THE DROP IN THE U.S. UNEMPLOYMENT RATE A BIG DEAL?
In our opinion, the answer is no. This was the eighth time we have seen the unemployment rate go down in a month since ...

****** worthless drivel by an "expert" deleted *******

... s companies have been showing has been driven by cost savings (i.e. laying off employees).
My goodness, did you even bother to read ... Yrs to Go's excellent post right above your last message?

This recovery is proceeding in classic textbook fashion.
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:01 AM   #70
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Yes, I understood. But this is also not new. It happens after every recession. And thus far, it has never prevented a recovery.

Besides, we don't actually need to see work weeks get back to where they were before the collapse to see net increases in hiring. The industries with the largest slack (homebuilders) will not likely be leaders in any recovery. Other areas have fared better (software, healthcare, etc) and may need to start hiring sooner even though their are plenty of homebuilders working part time, or not at all.

And we're not talking about "one month's" worth of employment data. But rather a downward trend in job losses since January 2009.

I also wonder to what extent businesses over did the layoffs during the downturn. Everyone was preparing for the apocalypse. But it didn't happen. In fact, profitability has turned out better than anyone had hoped. If businesses cut too much last year in preparation for a deeper recession than we actually got, they may need to hire more quickly than any of the prognosticators currently think.
. . . Yrs to Go this is the best message of the thread, and you are exactly right on all counts. Those who cant see that this recession is making a classic recovery (barring any unexpected geo-political issues) are burying their head in the sand and probably wont see the light until the index' again start making new highs / just before the next recession.
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:03 AM   #71
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I know a few young people who have been told during job interviews that firms are not filling jobs until the economy picks up. I also know a few young people who are up to their asses in alligators at work right now because staff has been cut to the bone.

So based this completely nonscientific and purely anecdotal evidence (but when has that ever stopped me before ) I think once the economy picks up, there is is no way existing staff can handle an increase in production--they can barely handle the work they have now--and there will be new hires.
Oddly, despite several attempts during the past half year to fill my old position, nobody even remotely qualified has applied for it. Apparently the job shortage doesn't apply to physical oceanographers or engineers.

The people at my old workplace are indeed up to their a$$es in alligators because my (physical sciences) unit has decreased to half its previous size during the past few years. They just can't seem to find qualified replacements for those who leave or transfer to other parts of the organization, despite advertising on the usual government jobs site at usajobs. Not only that, the workload in our unit had been increasing by leaps and bounds. I was anticipating a crushing workload in 2010 had I not retired.

Believe me, it was a perfect time to retire.
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:31 AM   #72
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Some people seem to think that the number is uniform.
A loss of 11,000 jobs doesn't meant that more jobs were not lost, nor that some jobs were not gained. Sure, our economy may have lost 250,000 jobs (totally made up number), but it ALSO gained 239,000 jobs.
Yes, some people will contnue to see losses and businesses going under, but more and more people have seen job and business growth.
This is not to discount the people going through a tough time, or seeing others in their area go through a tough time. It is just to say that what you (or I) see in our local area doesn't necessarily translate to the entire economy.
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:08 PM   #73
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My goodness, did you even bother to read ... Yrs to Go's excellent post right above your last message?

This recovery is proceeding in classic textbook fashion.
I suggest you worry less about my reading and more on your personal comprehension of the current global economic landscape.

There is nothing text book about the current economic situation. For you to suggest such, demonstrates your lack of understanding of the titanic forces at work.
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:51 PM   #74
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I suggest you worry less about my reading and more on your personal comprehension of the current global economic landscape.

There is nothing text book about the current economic situation. For you to suggest such, demonstrates your lack of understanding of the titanic forces at work.
Just as this possibility exists, so does the possibility that you have it wrong.

Just sayin'...
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:04 PM   #75
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Just as this possibility exists, so does the possibility that you have it wrong.

Just sayin'...
I don't think anyone with a grasp of the current financial situation would disagree that the current environment is not text book. One need look no further than the US governments' trillion dollar plus involvement in propping up the financial industry and markets to understand the statement.

That statement is an absolute and does not speak to the possible direction/intensity/duration of any recovery. So your comment about possibilities is not relevant.

Just sayin'...
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:13 PM   #76
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I don't think anyone with a grasp of the current financial situation would disagree that the current environment is not text book.
Jeez, could you work a few more negatives in there?
Just sayin . . .
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:25 PM   #77
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Jeez, could you work a few more negatives in there?
Just sayin . . .
If you have something of substance to add to the conversation I'm all ears. Just sayin...
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:28 PM   #78
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From the Community Rules,


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Just didn't want this to deteriorate any, and hoping everyone is going to be nice.
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:41 PM   #79
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Just didn't want this to deteriorate any, and hoping everyone is going to be nice.

Like I used to say to my mother when my brother and I got into it: "But he started it" Still, your point is well taken. Thank you.
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:42 PM   #80
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Ah, the iggy list claims another victim...
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