Thursday, May 28, 2009
As you can see from the chart above---Continuing claims continue to set records. Almost 6.8 million Americans are collecting unemployment insurance benefits--That's more than double from last year---and significantly up from the 2000 low of ~2 million.
Based on this data, you can be sure that the unemployment rate in May 2009 will be north of 9%, and it likely won't be below 7% for years to come.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Jake's way of showing the data is a bit more visually pleasing compared to my way---but the point is clear---the amount of unemployed Americans continues to grow, while the numbers of available jobs continue to shrink. And as Jake notes this could possibly to a future wave of stagfaltion---as inflation increases commodity prices, yet workers are unable to generate wage growth---because at the margin, there's so many more people willing to do work now than what there was just a couple of years ago.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics today published a pretty interesting chart that plots the Mass Layoff Index (Red dashed line, Left-Hand Scale) against the Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Benefits (Blue Line, Right Hand Scale).
It's interesting to note that the correlation shows that roughly 100 people file for UI benefits for every mass layoff---but you shouldn't read into that meaning that on average a mass layoff = 100 workers. Actually it would be less than that, because smaller businesses also are laying off people---but when economic conditions are bad enough for big business to lay people off (which would be registered in the Mass Layoff statistics), that would mean that smaller companies would likewise be letting people go.
The other interesting point on the chart is that back around December 2007---There was ~150,000/week filing first time claims---Now there's ~250,000 - 300,000 people per week filing claims. People might call the recent weeks declines a green-shoot---but compared to last year, it certainly is not.
Monday, May 25, 2009
As you can tell by the chart the states with the worst unemployment are located in the West (California, Nevada, Oregon), Midwest (Michigan, Ohio) and SouthEast (The Carolinas)... And then there's the swatch of states spanning the length of the Mississippi River from the Great Lakes to the Gulf that have unemployment rates between 8.1% and 10%
Saturday, May 23, 2009
According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 21 states saw their unemployment rate decrease in April 2009 vs. March 2009 and 18 states (& Washington DC) saw their unemployment rate increase month-on-month.
The States with the highest rates of unemployment in April include:
- Michigan 12.9% (up 0.3pp in the month)
- Oregon 12.0% (down 0.1pp in the month)
- South Carolina 11.5% (up 0.1pp)
- Rhode Island 11.1% (up 0.6 pp)
- California 11.0% (down 0.2 pp)
- North Carolina 10.8% (same)
- Nevada 10.6% (up 0.2pp)
- Ohio 10.2% (up 0.5pp)
- Indiana 9.9% (down 0.1)
- Washington DC 9.9% (up 0.1)
- Tennessee 9.9% (up 0.3)
- Kentucky 9.8% (same)
- Florida 9.6% (down 0.1)
Now in order for the increase/decrease in unemployment rate to be statistically significant in the month it should move by at least 0.3 percentage points---so statistically speaking most of the states were flat March to April---But things definitely got worse in Michigan, Rhode Island, Ohio and Tennessee.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Things are going tough for GM, as their market share dropped to below 20% (from 50% decades ago)---and a pending bankruptcy in a couple of weeks... My guess is that you'll be seeing more job losses in the auto sector as GM and Chrysler go through bankruptcy---hurting their dealer base and supplier organization.
Fox 5 in Atlanta, Georgia reports (5 minutes) on the fact that military recruiters are having an easier time surpassing their recruitment quotas as the job market continues to dry up.
The story highlights 8 high-school seniors who have chosen to enlist in the army rather than go immediately to college. Amanda Davis, interviews several proud parents as their young children join Uncle Sam's armed services. The recruits highlight the fact that it's a stable paycheck, and the Army can help pay their way through college after a few years.
According to the Chicago Sun Times, Illinois' unemployment rate climbed to 9.4% in April 2009--That's up 0.4 percentage points from March 2009 and up 3.2% points from April-2008's 6.2% rate---That means in one short year, there are 50%+ more unemployed workers in Illinois looking for work thant what there was in the prior year.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I don't know if you call it a good thing or not---But in April the National unemployment rate rose 0.4 percentage points to 8.9%---So the State of Michigan's unemployment rate actually rose less than the overall US rate for the first time in months. [But--(1) This is all with in a margin of error for the monthly measurements--so it's possible that Michigan was actually worse than the national average and (2) With the pending bankruptcies of Chrysler and GM, there will likely be continued increases in Michigan's unemployment rate for May and June 2009.
Click on Chart for a Larger Image
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
According to the stats, only 20% of college graduates who applied for jobs got a job offer in 2009 (vs. 51% in 2007)---And only 25% of college graduates are planning on going to graduate school.
The majors that are having the easiest time finding jobs are engineering and accounting undergrads.
Monday, May 18, 2009
The Associated Press has recently come out with a new tool called the "Economic Stress Index" that graphically shows by county what areas of the country are experiencing (comparatively) the toughest times.
Parts of California, the Midwest (Indiana & Michigan), and Arizona are some of the hardest hit spots in the country.
The map, which is updated monthly, is available at the AP's website
According to the Courier Press the
Currently, employers pay between 1.1 percent and 5.6 percent on the first $7,000 a worker earns, or between $77 and $392 per year.
In 2010, that will increase to between 0.7 percent and 9.5 percent on a wage base of $9,500. That's between $66.50 and $902.50.
Then in 2011, that again jumps to between 0.75 percent and 10.2 percent on the first $9,500, leaving the final range between $71.25 and $969 each year
Sunday, May 17, 2009
The original government report published in January 2009 was either (1) overly optimistic with regards to the impact of the stimulus package around job creation or (2) Severely underestimated just how bad the "Great Recession" is turning out to be.
The original worst cast assumption was for the unemployment rate to be ~9%---Now it's likely that the statistic will breach 10% by July, 2009... That's a huge margin of error for only 6 months in the future from the reports publish date---makes you wonder what their confidence interval is for 2014!
Friday, May 15, 2009
Well just this week, Chrysler announced that 25% of their dealerships (~800 dealers) are being shut-down---and they're sticking those dealers with all their inventory and special tools. And today, General Motors announced that it is going to get rid of ~1,100 dealers by January.
The average dealership has close to 50 employees---but many of the small dealerships are the ones that are closing, so if you assume an average of 20 employees per closed dealership---that means at least 40,000 people are directly going to be laid off by this change and the trickle down impact will be even greater---as many dealerships are the driving force for sales tax revenues in some cities/counties.
According to Governor Mark Sanford, the state could end up owing the feds $1 Billion dollars in the near future. That would amount to almost $225 for every man, woman and child in the state of South Carolina.
As you can see in the chart above, the state has seen it's unemployment rate almost double---from 5.9% in March 2008 to 11.4% in March 2009.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
According to the Detroit Free Press, Pfizer is offering free medication to people who are unemployed---for up to 1 year.
This program includes viagra, lipitor and 70 other drugs---But there is a catch--you have to have been using the drug for at least 3 months and lost your job since 1/1/2009.
If you want to learn more about this program--call Pfizer at 866-706-2400.
Well today cnn reports that 637,000 initial jobless claims were filed by unemployed workers last week--This is up 32,000 people since last weeks figure. Translation: The second derivative has turned positive (GASP!).
Continuing Claims rose to their highest level on record (since 1967) to ~6.6 million people.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Click on Image for a Larger Chart
Given that unemployment has severly spiked in the last year + that means there are many more people fighting for far fewer jobs. Companies just don't want to take the risk and expand their work force---and I'm guessing that with the big supply of workers looking for employment, companies that are hiring could likely afford to pay less in wages/benefits than what they were doling out a mere 2 years ago.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Now the experts speculate that the fund will be insolvant in 2037 vs. 2041 in the prior year's forecast.
The main problems are that there is higher demand for Social Security benefits while there is less money coming in---As unemployment creeps up, FICA withholdings decline.
This pending crisis in funding of America's social programs was highlighted in last year's movie IOUSA. A short clip is shown below: And a 32 minute version of IOUSA movie is available on youtube.
This ABC 7 news video clip addresses the concerns that 56,000 New Yorkers (1/2 of which live in New York City) are about to face once their unemployment insurance benefits are set to expire next month.
State legislators are working on a program to use the Obama stimulus package to provide another 13 weeks of unemployment benefit payments to the state's jobless.
Friday, May 8, 2009
The study focuses on 8,125 people and found that the rate of health issues (including high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease) occurred almost twice as much in people who unexpectedly lost their job than people who were continously employed. This increase in health issues occurred even if people quickly found new jobs after getting the axe.
Let's hope that most of these folks were still covered by COBRA or some sort of health insurance!
Click on Image for a bigger chart
There are now 3.7 million people who have been unemployed for over a half year. This is up from 1.3 million people in the same position at the start of the "Great Recession" in 12/2007.
One other interesting point is the fact that even though the unemployment increased by 0.4 percentage points in the month (8.5 to 8.9%), the U6 Unemployment Rate (which includes the unemployed as well as peole working part-time b/c they can't find full time work) increased only 0.2 percentage points (15.6 to 15.8%). Now maybe I'm being a pollyanna, but this is pretty good news--It means that the number of people who were working part time work, but wanted full time work actually fell!---I hope that means they found full time work, and not that they are now just happy with their part-time careers.
Click on Image for a Larger Chart
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Here we are 4 months later and KRDO reports that people are still getting busy signals or waiting on hold for hours---This is even though they have expanded their workforce from 20 people to 110 people in the past year.
According to KRDO, you can email Bill Thoennes (at firstname.lastname@example.org ) if you're not having any luck in getting your phone call answered. [Or else you could try and find your answers at www.coworkforce.com. ]
According to vindy.com the state of Ohio is getting close to retroactively paying the extra $25/week to the jobless collecting unemployment insurance.
The extra money was supposed to be delivered in February, but computer glitches delayed the payments until now. If you're a buckeye looking for the extra cash, you can expect in the next couple of weeks.
There will be a separate "catch-up" payment and then the extra funds should start showing up in future checks.
The amount of workers currently collecting unemployment benefits climbed to a record 6.35 million.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Click for a Bigger Chart...
As you can see in the chart above, the number of non-farm private jobs keeps declining (Green Bars & Left Hand Axis), but the rate of Change (Blue Line & Right Axis) is showing an uptick--and that uptick is why the stock market futures are trending up this morning. Analysts are hoping that the decline in job loss will continue and eventually turn into job gains. Will it happen? Only time will tell...
What do you think?
Monday, May 4, 2009
For myself, I've been using Assurant Health for my health insurance provider while I'm looking for work. So far I've been pleased, and recently I signed up for their affiliate marketing program---so this post is a little bit of an advertisement.
It never hurts to cross-shop and get quotes to see if COBRA has the best deal or some other insurance company does---so for a peace-of-mind, consider getting a quote from Assurant for your health insurance needs.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
The cities with the most jobless tend to be from California, they include:
- El Centro, CA --25.1%
- Merced, CA--20.4%
- Yuba City, CA--19.5%
- Elkhart-Goshen, IN--18.8%
- Visalia-Porterville, CA--17.7%
- Modesto, CA--17.5%
- Bend, OR--17.0%
- Fresno, CA--17%
- Redding, CA--16.8%
- Hanford-Corcoran, CA--16.7%