Wednesday, March 31, 2010

the jobless recovery continues...

04/02/2010: An update to the original post showed surprising job creation in March by the BLS.  168,000 jobs were created, however housing, finance, and IT are still shredding positions as is most of the private sector. The President and the Treasury secretary are happy.

All signs continue to point to a "jobless recovery" (1,2,3), with a larger employment report out on Friday.  Treasury's March 16 report sees prolonged unemployment with job creation under 100K per month for the rest of the year. Year over year, Washington state has lost 89K jobs and seen its U-3 rate soar 1.4 pts to  9.5%  from February 2009 - 2010. For the United States,   "Broader U-6 unemployment rate of 16.8% would imply 25.8 million unemployed Americans."  After a period of unemployment decline for fourth quarter 2009, the unemployment rate appears headed up for the  Bellingham MSA  (Whatcom County). As of January 2010, BLS statistics show Bellingham's 9.4% unemployment rate sits it 154 out of 372 Metropolitan Statistical Areas.   A comparative google unemployment chart (not seasonally adjusted) looks like this with data for year end 2010:
The talk about gains in productivity, bonds, bank surpluses is not abating the continued wealth destruction in mortgage finance, bankruptcies, foreclosures,  unemployment.  So where are we going  in Whatcom County?  If you have cash in the bank you may survive the next year.  If not, you should shed your debt and hold onto your job.  At this point, a dynamic spike in growth is not predicted.

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