Jobs Lost for 3rd Consecutive Month

Private sector jobs lost for 3rd consecutive month in February; wages likely again failed to keep up with prices as recession starts to bite.

Today’s BLS jobs report from February should finally put an end to the sucker-hype that has until now continued to deny the recession that likely started in December. The BLS’ downward revisions today to their earlier jobs estimates for December and January are now consistent with virtually all of the previous economic information.

The private sector is now shown to have lost a net of -14,000 jobs in December, lost another -26,000 jobs in January, and lost another -101,000 jobs in February; a total of -141,000 private sector jobs lost over the past three months.

Nominal New Home Prices Plunge

Nominal new home prices plunge record -15.1% yr/yr to January yet sales plunge and inventories soar; durable goods orders also plunged in January.

The key finding in today’s Census Bureau report on new single-family home sales in January is that the median nominal price plunged -15.1% yr/yr, the worst decline on record back to 1963. New home prices were down -7.8% in the year ending December 2007.

Also very important is that the inventory of unsold new homes soared to a 9.9 month supply in January, the worst glut of empty new homes since October 1981. Unsold inventories represented a 9.5 month supply in December and a 7.2 month supply in January 2007.

Housing Prices, Histogram

unsold homes, inventory, histogram

Recession watch: retail sales, new jobless claims rolling over

One of the things I wanted to try here is to post bits of significant economic data that would scroll off the page on the great orange satan in about 10 minutes. One of those items was yesterday's retail sales number. For about the last 6 months, most economic data has been deteriorating steadily, but two of the holdouts were retail sales and jobs data. A couple of weeks ago the December nonfarm payroll number finally went negative.

NonFarm Payroll

How Long, How Deep?

Two economic reports today show the deeply indebted US economy is in a decline that is likely to stretch into a recession that could be quite severe.

The BLS jobs report shows a loss of -17,000 jobs in January, an even sharper -0.3% loss in total hours worked and a decline in average weekly wages even before considering the effects of inflation. Annual revisions to data back to 1990 that are included in today’s report, shows the economy had -376,000 fewer jobs in December than previously estimated. Only 994,000 new jobs were created over the past year and of these, only 809,000 were created by the private sector.

Decoupling Reality from Policy

While mainstream pundits and economists are now realizing the precipitous cliff of sand the United States teeters on, few will mention bad trade policy being one of the causes.

Newsweek's cover story, The Road to Recession we are starting to see mainstream economic pundits realize the U.S. is in much more serious trouble as implied by this foreboding Newsweek article title U.S. Economy at the Guillotine

The Great Global Market Freak-Out of 2008 has everyone asking whether the United States—already on the road to recession—is entering into a protracted period of economic trouble where jobs will be slashed, prices will continue to rise and the dollar will keep falling; and if so, whether the declining U.S. economy will pull the rest of the world down with it

Lost your Job? Lost your House? Here's $300 Bucks!

Today we have a new economic stimulus plan revealed.

The $150 Billion dollar package consists of:

  • $300 to $1200 dollar one time June tax rebate - for anyone who earned at least $3000.00 in W2 type wages. Nothing mentioned about temporary 1099-misc. workers or small business owners who are hit the hardest often in a recession and cannot collect unemployment insurance
  • Allows Fannie Mae/Fannie Mac to buy out up to $626,000 dollar mortgages temporarily up for $416,000
  • Large businesses can take a 50% additional tax exemption on new capital expenditures

Americans are Producers, Not Consumers

Have you ever noticed that the only attention Americans get from this administration is when they stop shopping?

Bush announced a $145B Economic Stimulus plan that is in the form of tax rebates. He wants to put a whopping $800 dollars into the pocket of every single tax paying American.

Even Bruce Barltett, a former Bush administration member, said: