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January 12, 2010

Unemployment Will Peak at 10.5% This Year, Say Forecasters;
US Chamber of Commerce Warns of Double-Dip Due to Democratic Policies

Are you not stimulated?

Job openings fell sharply to 2.42 million in November from 2.57 million in October, according to the department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey.

That may sound like a lot, given the depths of the recession, but it's the lowest number of job openings since July 2009 and the second-lowest since the department began tracking the data in 2000. It's also about half the peak level of 4.8 million, reached in June 2007.

The decline shows that even as layoffs are slowing, hiring hasn't picked up. The economy lost 85,000 jobs in December, the department said last week, an improvement from the average job cuts of 691,000 per month in the first quarter of last year. The unemployment rate was 10 percent, the same as in November.

Many economists expect the improving trend will continue and the economy will likely add jobs in the first quarter of this year. But with so many people out of work, the unemployment rate is forecast to top 10.5 percent later this year.

Small businesses are still reluctant to hire, according to a monthly survey by the National Federation of Independent Business. Eight percent of small companies plan to add jobs in the next three months, the NFIB said Tuesday, while 15 percent plan to reduce employment, little changed from the previous month.

And the real unemployment rate is 22% and will go higher as well.

Double-dip? I think most likely, yes.

He also faulted Obama and Democratic lawmakers for not doing more to create jobs.

Donohue criticized a separate tax on banks floated by the administration on Monday, and said that the rationale for any tax increases would be increased spending, not lowering huge budget deficits exacerbated by the recession.

We are talking about a massive tax increase in a very weak economy a tax increase whose clearly intended purpose is not to reduce the deficit, but to pay for more spending, he said.

He also promised the Chamber would be more involved in the 2010 midterm election than it has been in any other before, and will hold accountable lawmakers who vote against the group's priorities.

I remember an insight Megan McArdle gleaned from reading about the Depression, I think maybe from Amity Shale's book.

At the beginning of the Depression, the public mood was relatively cheerful. They knew things were bad, but expected a quick recovery.

What changed the public's mood -- and put the actual depression into the Great Depression -- was the unending grind of it, the way things would seem to improve and then get worse, etc.

That's probably going to happen, too.


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posted by Ace at 05:35 PM

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