Skip to comments.Firms still slashing jobs
Posted on 09/05/2003 11:15:13 AM PDT by Afronaut
Firms still slashing jobs
WASHINGTON, Sept. 5 — Despite the civilian unemployment rate sliding down to 6.1 percent in August, the government reported Friday that companies slashed payrolls by 93,000, raising new concerns that the fragile economic recovery could falter.
AUGUST WAS THE seventh consecutive month of cuts in payrolls, a survey released by the Labor Department showed, indicating continuing weakness in the job market. Analysts had expected companies to add 12,000 new jobs.
At the same time, the overall seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 6.2 percent to 6.1 percent of the labor force, as reflected by a survey of U.S. households. Stock prices fell in early trading Friday on news of the job losses.
The survey of businesses showed that job cuts were heavy again in manufacturing, a sector that has suffered the brunt of the economic downturn that began in March 2001. President Bush on Monday announced that a Commerce Department assistant secretary post was being changed to focus on revitalizing that part of the economy.
Friday’s reports no longer reflected a cyclical economy trying to add jobs after a recession — “which is depressing,” said Sung Won Sohn, chief economist at Wells Fargo. Analysts had expected companies to add some jobs last month.
Deeper concerns now are focused on long-term structural problems in the economy, such as a flood of U.S. jobs going overseas. “We have simply seen the tip of the iceberg,” Sohn said. “I think it will get worse, not better.”
At the White House, spokesman Scott McClellan said, “The economy is growing but we want to see it grow even faster.” He said jobs are one of the last things to grow as the economy improves.
Some reports estimate 5 million jobs — many high-paying — will be lost to other countries by 2015. As the economy grows, demand is being filled from overseas, Sohn said. Also, because of that increasing global competition, businesses are holding down costs by not hiring. If hiring doesn’t improve, the recovery could be in jeopardy because consumers worried about their job prospects will stop spending. That’s been the driving force in the U.S. economy.
Hiring in health care and construction helped offset losses in factories and other industries, such as information, professional and business services and government, Friday’s report said.
Last month’s power blackout in the Northeast and Midwest was unlikely to have affected either of the monthly surveys, Labor Department analysts said.
Labor Department analysts believe the survey of businesses provides a more reliable picture of the jobs market than the household survey. The payroll report is based on a larger sample and estimates “are regularly anchored to” counts derived from employment insurance tax records, said Kathleen P. Utgoff, Bureau of Labor Statistics commissioner.
Last month, the number of people in the labor force remained largely unchanged, with just 10,000 giving up their job searches. The labor force is comprised of those working and looking for work.
Nearly 2 million people in August were unemployed for 27 weeks or more, representing nearly 22 percent of all jobless workers. Those figures were similar to July numbers.
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.com ...
Last month, the number of people in the labor force remained largely unchanged, with just 10,000 giving up their job searches. The labor force is comprised of those working and looking for work. Nearly 2 million people in August were unemployed for 27 weeks or more, representing nearly 22 percent of all jobless workers. Those figures were similar to July numbers.
Take out the Bush led spending spree; what would we be looking at here?
An economic recovery, with unemployment the traditionally lagging indicator.
Traditionally, unemployment does not lag two years into a recovery.
And the gloom 'n doomers are already here telling us Armageddon is fast approaching. Meanwhile my 401K is continuing to increase in value, I have more of my own money to spend, consumer spending is excellent, and we're approaching the Christmas season which will mean seasonal hirings.
Traditionally terrorists don't slam airliners into massive office and DoD buildings, thereby severely harming our nation's infrastructure and sense of security, thereby leading to two large, separate military conflicts and a whole slew of increased security measures and associated costs. Yet the economy, while sputtering, has absolutely amazed me with its ability to withstand such devastation.
The recovery started seemed to start in late Spring/early Summer 2003.
Yeah, I've heard that line of BS. I work (for two months, until my termination becomes effective) for a optical transport builder, doing research. I program test systems using some of the most sophisticated software tools known. Some "buggy-whip". Word is that the development work will be moved offshore and that all personnel not involved in maintenance (lower paying jobs) will be whacked. I'll likely be able to find work, that is until my next employer starts eyeing his stock options, looking for that quick boost, or the latest fashion in pump-and-dump schemes.
No one said anything about central planning, that's another red herring, akin to the buggy-whip argument. It's quite likley that your nonsensical message traveled to FR over equipment my employer builds (or used to build, when it moves offshore). I guess you would rather the Red Chinese build the systems on which you depend. Or perhaps intelligent individuals like myself could be herded into labor camps to increase the bonuses and stock portfolios of our corporate overlords
Are you telling me they're not?
Imagine that. And on a conservative website, no less.
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