Don't kill the messenger

by SixFigureStart | October 02, 2009

  • My Vault
Remember those 'green shoots' everyone was talking about in April and May? Well, they're brown and withered and just short of dead now. There was no positive news in the monthly BLS report for September. The unemployment rate bumped up by 0.1% to 9.8%, double what it was at the end of 2007. Non-farm payrolls dropped by 263,000 jobs -- far exceeding the expected 170,000. Overtime hours dipped, the number of hours worked stayed level, and even temp firms sloughed off jobs. The country now holds 15.1 million unemployees, with more than 7.6 million separated from their jobs in the last 21 months.

Other economic indicators (GDP, manufacturing, etc.) are still showing tentative signs of improvement, but they will need to pick up some serious steam to support the job growth we need. Analysts now say it may be until the second half of 2010 before we see even a little relief. And one study, conducted by two Rutgers professors, posits that the country's labor force won't be able to rebound until at least the year 2017. (The report considered both the amount of jobs lost since December 2007 and the 1.3 million people who are added to the labor force every year, and also noted that the average annual job growth from November 2001 to the recession's start was just one million, well below the 2.4 million and 2.1 million it measured in similar, earlier periods of expansion.)

Pink Slippers, if you have anything to say about the situation that even hints of buoyancy, please forward it via the 'Post a comment' button. We refuse to listen to any more doomish predictions today.

--Posted by Todd Obolsky, Vault Staff Writer

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