Quantcast
Connect with us

Private-sector data highlights weak U.S. job market

Published

on

WASHINGTON — The unemployment scourge ravaging the United States showed no sign of letup in October, as the world’s biggest economy struggles to recover from recession, according to data released Wednesday.

With Europe’s debt crisis escalating, threatening global growth, the entrenched high US jobless rate undermines the economy’s resilience against external shock.

ADVERTISEMENT

And it poses a challenge to President Barack Obama, whose $447 billion jobs creation bill is stalled in a gridlocked Congress, where Republican foes oppose new stimulus spending in the face of growing deficits.

The jobless rate has been stuck at 9.0 percent and above for all but two of the past 29 months.

On Friday, when the government releases its official jobless figure for October, that is not expected to change: analysts are forecasting it will remain at 9.1 percent, where it has been for four months straight, despite efforts by policy makers to encourage more hiring.

“The sluggish recovery in employment is continuing, with private payroll growth still not even fast enough to keep unemployment from rising further in the medium-term, never mind bringing it down,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics.

ADVERTISEMENT

There was no encouragement for a different view from Wednesday’s data.

Private payrolls firm ADP reported Wednesday that US companies added 110,000 net jobs last month, down from 116,000 in September.

The jobs growth in October was entirely due to the massive service sector and small and medium-sized businesses, the firm said.

ADVERTISEMENT

The report “suggests that the recent trend in private employment remains moderate, and probably is below a pace consistent with a stable unemployment rate,” ADP said.

Another report, by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, showed US-based employers planned fewer job cuts in October after they hit a 28-month peak in September.

But its data revealed the number of planned job cuts in the first 10 months of the year was still 16 percent higher than the same period last year.

ADVERTISEMENT

And on top of that, the Federal Reserve released its newest forecasts which showed it expected the unemployment rate to fall to no better than 8.5 percent by the end of 2012, compared to its June prediction of 7.8 percent.

Most analysts predict that Friday’s official data for last month will show the economy having spawned a total of just 85,000 net nonfarm jobs, down from 103,000 in September, with private posts falling by 20,000, to 117,000.

That is less than what is necessary to keep up with the growth of the working-age population, much less reducing the total number of unemployed from 14 million.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADP noted that October’s job creation reflected the sluggish pace of US economic growth seen earlier in the year.

Growth in gross domestic product (GDP) — the nation’s output of goods and services — nearly stalled in the first half, rising only 0.4 percent in the first quarter and 1.3 percent in the second quarter.

The Federal Reserve noted that GDP growth picked up in the third quarter, to 2.5 percent, and would likely continue around that pace in the current quarter.

ADVERTISEMENT

But it also cut its growth forecast for 2012, to 2.5-2.9 percent, not seen as strong enough to generate large numbers of jobs.

According to ADP, the service sector added jobs for the 20th consecutive month, but the number fell by 8,000 to 114,000.

Employment in the goods-producing sector and the manufacturing sector fell by a combined 12,000 jobs.

ADVERTISEMENT

Small firms, those with up to 49 workers, and medium-sized businesses, with up to 499 workers, remained the engine of job growth, pumping out 58,000 and 53,000 posts, respectively. Bigger businesses eliminated 1,000 jobs.

The Challenger report said downsizing activity fell 63 percent to a June low, but that layoffs were still up 12.6 percent from October 2010.

While government and financial industry layoffs slowed, they still remained the top job-cutting sectors for the year.

ADVERTISEMENT

John Challenger, the firm’s chief executive, warned they remain most at-risk amid the struggling economy.

“The two sectors are not out of the woods, by any means,” he said.

In the government sector alone, most of the cuts this year have been at the state level, he said, noting the full impact of mandated federal spending cuts has not yet been felt.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Meanwhile, the European debt crisis is wreaking havoc on Wall Street.”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump’s mental decline compared to Reagan’s hidden Alzheimer’s in brutal MSNBC assessment

Published

on

On Saturday morning a deadly serious MSNBC panel took up Donald Trump's increasingly erratic behavior of late, which led one panelist to sincerely suggest the president needs to be evaluated by mental health officials because she believes the White House is covering for him.

Speaking with host David Gura, MSNBC legal analyst Maya Wiley admitted that she is no doctor, but that there are signs of the president's decline that reminded her of how Ronald Reagan's White House hid his Alzheimer's from the public.

"This is the man last week said he was the second coming, the 'chosen one,'" Wiley began. "It is very, very difficult to not have a conversation about whether or not he's competent to serve as president. I say that because there were actually objective measures this week."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Mike Pence and Nikki Haley battled for attention at a GOP donor retreat: report

Published

on

Who will be President Donald Trump's successor as leader of the Republican Party?

It's a question that GOP officials are already asking themselves, and it is already producing subtle divides within their ranks. Two of the biggest names that get floated are Vice President Mike Pence and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. Both politicians are comfortable appealing to multiple wings of the GOP, and both have managed to stay in Trump's good graces for far longer than most of the people who have worked in his administration.

They have pushed back aggressively on claims that they are challenging one another for control, with Haley aggressively denying rumors that Trump was interested in swapping her in to replace Pence on the 2020 ticket.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

Thousands join anti-G7 march as world leaders fly in

Published

on

More than 9,000 anti-G7 protesters joined a mass march across the French-Spanish border on Saturday as world leaders arrived for a summit in Biarritz just hours after activists clashed with police.

Since Monday, anti-capitalist activists, environmentalists and other anti-globalisation groups have begun flocking to southwestern France for a counter-summit which they insist will be peaceful.

Biarritz is a popular tourist destination that would normally be basking in its annual summer boom, but with US President Donald Trump and other world leaders flying in for three days of talks, the resort was on lockdown.

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image