Friday, June 4, 2010

US Unemployment: Depressing

How can 431,000 new jobs and a declining unemployment rate be depressing? When almost all of those new jobs were temporary Census jobs meaning that private sector employment was completely moribund just a month after a very strong private sector expansion.

This might be evidence that the temporarily strong jobs numbers were due to an inventory bounce.  An inventory bounce is when firms that see declining demand in a recession cut back production to drain down bulging inventories.  To do so they have to cut back more than is appropriate for the new lower demand and so eventually when they successfully draw down inventory they will have to ramp up production but only to the new lower level.  In other words, manufacturing is not recovering just adjusting to an over-correction.

It is also very troubling due to the fact that states across the nation are in fiscal crisis and are about to shed jobs and spending like crazy.  Suddenly, this weakness along with trouble in Europe makes me worried about a double dip recession - something I have been sanguine about in the past.  I think there should be very real consideration of a second round of stimulus in the form of block grants to the states.

This is, of course, very terrible news for Oregon, which has yet to gain any real traction in the job recovery front.

Things are just bad all over...

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