US Unemployment Rate 20%, could it be?
Posted 16 June 2003 - 01:55 AM
Most unemployment claims since 1983
By JUDITH SCHOOLMAN
DAILY NEWS BUSINESS WRITER
Jobless claims have been rising this year.
In an ongoing sign of the weak economy, the number of Americans getting unemployment benefits hit the highest level in more than 20 years during the last week of May.
But on the upside, shoppers sent retail sales higher last month as the war in Iraq ended, the government said.
The employment picture remained gloomy as productivity improved but companies held back on hiring, awaiting firmer signs of economic strength, the Labor Department said in its weekly report on jobless claims.
The ranks of the unemployed rose to 3.8 million, the highest since early April 1983, from 3.68 million in the prior week, the Labor Department said.
Initial jobless claims fell in the latest week by 17,000 to 430,000, still above the 400,000 mark that indicates a weak labor market. New claims have been above 400,000 for 16 weeks in a row.
Posted 16 June 2003 - 10:34 AM
Posted 16 June 2003 - 11:02 AM
And besides: is it a lie? There is a lot of unemployment in the states. The famous "Mc Donald's-jobs" may keep peple out of unemployment sometimes, but they don't keep 'em out of poverty.
Posted 16 June 2003 - 09:52 PM
But I don't see it any better anywhere else.
Posted 17 June 2003 - 10:11 AM
People aren't factory machinery that they can go twenty four hours a day Eric. The doctors will end up taking most if it and the
lawyers when the family splits in two.
One can't complain about people speaking to the subject of the
It may well be that because the U.S. has been the leading world economy that problems that are long standing in other economies
are only starting to make themselves felt in the U.S. which proves it's not as bullet proof as some U.S. citizens tend to sound thus
attracting the kind of comment that sounds like its anti-U.S.
The fact that young families whoes breadwinner has chosen a
career in the U.S. military and currently over in Iraq, the young mother and children are leaning on welfare to suppliment the military wages in order to get by doesn't speak of a nation on the rise but on the way down. The same thing has been going on in my own country to my disgust.
The focus on employment-unemployment which is really about money distorts the bigger issues of society anyway. The family unit is supposed to be the basis of western culture, is it not?
Yet families are breaking up because of highpayed and highpowered jobs by either or both spouses as much as those struggling to make ends meet. Many families, both spouses are like passing ships in the night working all hours on more then one job. What's happening to the kids without a proper home life with the parents like boarders-rich or poor.
The social costs down stream are horendous and everybody is too busy to notice. Why build a fortune or grand business and then have it split in half when the spouse walks away?
The asnwer is not- we don't care we've still got job.
Posted 18 June 2003 - 12:16 AM
Many people aren't really working to survive, they are working the long hours because they live beyond their means.
Poverty is a state of mine too, in one sense. I've heard more than one person say, seriously, that they were poor when they were kids but didn't know it. Mom didn't work, and was there for the kids, and they didn't have the material goods, but they always had a meal to eat, and they didn't feel poverty stricken. Values have definitely changed for the worse in some cases.
Posted 19 June 2003 - 08:59 AM
opportunity and therefore the extent of it is greater in the US.
But then the unique characteristic of the US is that it naturally
achieves greater greatness and grandure than any other society.
Europe should be the same but can't be perhaps because of more
entrenched and much older history/culture and crowded in by numerous countries of various languages. But the US is still a young nation within a huge continent of one common working language where the sky not the horizon was the subliminal limit.
There lots of factors - self made, socially made, politically made,
personally and ability/lack of ability made, generational-
that come into the issues of peoples/family standards of living
as you have alluded to.
Family life was so diferent before and after world war two, women moved out of the home into the workforce in the fifties
and have increasingly moved into what were exclusively male domains. The shift of rural labour to the cities was another big
cause of change from independance to dependance which demands more money to get by. The change in attitude regarding better and higher education has put more pressure on parent to give their children a better chance.
There are many things that create the "living beyond their means" situation that may have nothing to do with being
affluent-greedy. This is just further up ther scale from what was
mentioned in regards the need to escape poverty can be just
as great as escaping unemployment.
One could say that if someone is struggling to pay rent, food and power etc and getting into financial difficulty they should stop living beyond their means and go and live with others on the street, save on rent and manage the rest easier.
It is becoming more complex and therefore more perspectives
are required to take it all in, it seems, making it impossible for anyone to be totally right or totally wrong.
Posted 19 June 2003 - 09:45 PM
Historically speaking, unemployment could be a lot worse, but it should be an awful lot better. June 19, 2003: 3:50 PM EDT
By Mark Gongloff, CNN/Money Staff Writer
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Though U.S. unemployment is at its highest level since July 1994, it's still a lot lower than its peaks after recessions in the early 1980s and 1990s.
But these are the aughts, not the '80s or '90s; the economy is different, and most economists say the standard for unemployment is different, too.
Unemployment hit 6.1 percent in May, the Labor Department said recently. While the rate was nearly a nine-year high, it still was a far cry from the 7.8 percent peak it hit after the 1990-91 recession and the nasty 10.8-percent peak it hit in 1982.
In fact, 6 percent unemployment was -- in the early 1990s -- considered by many economists to be "full employment," or labor-market nirvana, the level at which the economy was growing strongly, but not so strongly that it fueled inflation.
That level is probably much lower today, however -- the Congressional Budget Office, for example, believes 5.2 percent unemployment is the new standard for full employment.
"I've spent the past couple of days in Washington, talking to people at the Federal Reserve and the [White House] Council of Economic Advisers, and this issue came up," said Sung Won Sohn, chief economist at Wells Fargo & Co. "The consensus seems to be that an unemployment rate representing full employment is somewhere between 5 and 5.5 percent."
New economy, new unemployment rate
There are several reasons that the "perfect" unemployment rate has fallen. For one thing, the development of radical new technologies in the 1990s created new industries and job opportunities, even as they cut the amount of labor businesses needed to produce goods. That higher productivity pushes overall prices lower, meaning higher employment will be less likely to fuel inflation.
And the labor force has grown much larger; 6.1 percent unemployment in 1994 meant 7.9 million people were out of work; now, 6.1 percent unemployment means 9 million people are jobless.
Gus Faucher, senior economist at Economy.com, also pointed out that the labor force has grown older and more skilled, meaning workers should stay employed longer and be unemployed for shorter periods of time.
"The 'full employment' unemployment rate is about 5 percent," Faucher said. "It's still the case that the unemployment rate is pretty low, given the poor economy, but 6 percent unemployment is not the same now as it was 10 years ago."
And today's unemployment rate could be much higher -- if the 4.7 million people who want a job but have given up looking all started looking for work again, thus rejoining the labor force, the unemployment rate would skyrocket to 9.1 percent.
Most economists believe the economy needs to grow to its full potential -- a rate of about 3.5 percent per year -- for a sustained time, possibly a year or more, before unemployment falls back to 5 percent.
Right now, most economists hope that sort of growth pattern will get started in the third quarter -- but stronger growth will mean a lot of those 4.7 million people will start looking for work again and rejoin the labor force, meaning the unemployment rate will probably rise for a few months before it starts to fall.
Should sights be set even lower?
An eventual decline to 5 percent unemployment won't be enough to satisfy some economists, however, who think unemployment could be even lower. It fell all the way to 4 percent in 2000 and occasionally dipped even lower, without triggering inflation.
While many economists dismiss this super-low unemployment rate as a symptom of the enormous stock and investment bubble of the late 1990s -- a situation unlikely to be duplicated anytime soon -- others think it's possible to get back to that unemployment rate in a more stable environment.
"The full employment situation reinforces itself," said former Labor Department economist Jared Bernstein, now with the Economic Policy Institute and co-author of a recent book, "The Benefits of Full Employment," which urges policy makers to aim for much lower unemployment.
"When unemployment is that low, wages are growing broadly, and family incomes are rising," Bernstein said. "Wage-based demand growth keeps the economy growing at potential."
Find this article at:
Posted 28 June 2003 - 10:27 AM
The top 1 percent, those earning over $230,000, saw gains of 78 percent in their income share. The top half percent, that half million families earning over $524,000, saw their income share double. The top tenth of 1 percent, those earning over $1.5 million, got almost three times as large a slice of the pie. And the top one-tenth of 1 percent, America
Posted 29 June 2003 - 09:24 AM
landscape from the front seat of a covered wagon over many months travelling west to a new life, meeting many different peoples all
offering something particular they brought with them from the UK
and Europe where the best knowledge and practical knowhow
would have come to the fore. Everything new, not old grimmy
buildings and industrial smoke everywhere. Plus a continent of
greater bounty than anywhere else- so what can one expect?
Half the nation wasn't thinking about getting out and going somewhere across the world on a sailing ship to get a decent start in life for ones children. Some were busy
with a gold rush but most with a liferush. (Accepting the dangers and hard work and sometimes harsh conditions).
Getting back the issue of unemployment:
checkout web site "eagleforum.org/column/2003/june03/03-06-11.shtml
Its about the big move mainly by Wall St towards using Aisians
particularly Indians overseas to do their business office work over
the next decade. Obviously it wont be limited to Wall Street.
You keep coming up with good stuff SmallMind.
The commonist stats I have seen re the freemarket economics is that 80 percent are not winning, 20 are winning and 15% of those are working for the 5% who own most of whats worth owning.
Last but not least the poverty water-mark is slowly rising up the
Posted 01 July 2003 - 01:09 AM
The Fed Fuels Overcapacity By Aaron L. Task and K.C. Swanson
Last week's 25-basis-point rate cut was too small, according to most on Wall Street. But a vocal minority believes it was unnecessary and that the Federal Reserve's aggressive policies are contributing to the very deflationary pressures the central bank is trying to forestall.
By keeping the fed funds rates so low, and indicating it won't be raised anytime soon, the Fed has dramatically lowered the cost of capital for corporate America, as evinced by the recent torrent of convertible bond issuance.
History isn't repeating itself, but it is rhyming. When the Fed lowered interest rates in the late 1990s, the resulting liquidity fueled the IPO boom, bringing public a number of companies with questionable prospects. Within the Fed's current policy, convertibles are playing a similar role: allowing many companies that might otherwise have gone bankrupt -- or forced to look for a suitor -- to stay afloat, preventing consolidation in many sectors and curtailing pricing power for all competitors.
But Richard Bernstein, chief U.S. strategist at Merrill Lynch, worries "investors will soon be calling Mr. Greenspan 'Greenspan-san' for his Japanese-like strategy of keeping overcapacity alive," as reported here.
"What's basically happening is Washington in general, not just the Fed, is trying to solve a supply problem" -- really an oversupply problem -- "with demand solutions," Bernstein said in a subsequent interview Friday. "The Japanese have tried for many years to fill up their oversupply with created demand. They haven't been able to do it [and] I'm not so sure we'll be" either.
Bernstein is clearly in the minority among Wall Street strategists -- most of whom view the Fed's policies as reason to be more bullish -- but some share his concerns.
"Unfortunately, there are periods of pain that have to occur in capitalism. They cleanse the system," said Fred Hickey, editor of The High-Tech Strategist. "When that's not allowed to happen, you end up with a messed-up system. The unintended consequence of all this money being thrown at the economy is this overcapacity problem." The most obvious example being the tech sector, where capacity utilization was 62.5% in May vs. a 20-year low of 74.3% overall.
Posted 01 July 2003 - 07:19 AM
The last time the world had a free-market fling, they are usually only good for a burst it seems, it led to instability, the great depression and war to get out of it.
I liked the comment that history is not repeating itself but is starting to rhyme. Looks like war has come early this time.
Over capacity is primarily driven by the fact that the debt money system has to keep expanding in order for the interest to be paid.
People and businesses borrow principle. Out of the money supply
pool the interest is syphoned off so what is syphoned off is not there to pay back all the principle so the answer is to continue to expand the money supply to protect the banks.
The other side of the interest issue is the tax one. Taxes also syphones the principle out of the money supply adding to the demand to incease the money supply by creating more debt.
No debt money system- no need for taxes.
The continuous lowering of interest rates to entice (maintain the
rate of expansion) borrowers had to be done in the face of no
evidence of an increase for demand. Company bureaucrats will
do their thing rather than sit on their hands. They want bonuses and shareholders want good returns. Then there is the need to be a step ahead of predators and rivals.
This demand for an ever increasing money supply was the
cause of trade wars ( a major cause of WW1) which came as a result of the same problem that caused over production and everyone had to sell off-shore to get a return to pay the banks.
This is why the planet resources and the environment have been
overplundered and abused- overcapacity driven by debt. Open doors immigration is founded on the same problem. People will bring in money (hopefully debt free) into the money supply and reduce borrowing.
People cannot keep on spending when they are being laid off,
wage increases are behind inflation over time; the twenty percent of society that are winning cannot consume what the eighty percent (should be) are not; everybody cannot keep on immigrating; every nation wants everybodies tourists and investment, they cannot be everywhere at the same time; every nation cannot have a surplus by selling more than they buy because everyone else is trying to do the same and because governments are cutting back and spending less in order to try and create a surplus to please the IMF. Yet banks have to be saved as well as corporations and that requires doing the irrational- keep flying the planes even if there are not enough passengers.
While adjustments have been made since the last great depression to prevent a simultaneous collapse, notice how many there have been around the world over the last say fifteen years, but since they aren't recovering like they should it's only a matter
of time and over-capacity will become global.
But notice although the world has been experiencing over-production/capacity poverty and privation is expanding.
There is no lack of understanding or ability to make a balanced system to serve humanity, just the lack of will.
Posted 09 July 2003 - 01:30 PM
Posted 09 July 2003 - 07:49 PM
12:12PM Cisco Systems follow-up (CSCO) 18.95 +0.22: --Update-- Reuters reports that Cisco officials on Wednesday said comments attributed to CEO John Chambers about an imminent recovery in the technology sector were misinterpreted by a Dutch newspaper. Dutch daily Het Financieele Dagblad quoted Chambers as saying corporate spending on IT would recover in the next two to four months. According to a Cisco spokeswoman, Chambers actually said companies would start spending on information technology two to four months after their business turns up. "There is nothing new in what John has been saying the last several quarters."
Posted 10 July 2003 - 05:15 PM
Initial claims rose 5K to 439K (consensus of 420K) - representing the 21st consecutive week above the 400K mark - and continuing claims increased 87K to 3.82 mln - the highest level in over 20 years, the combination of both pointing to continued softness in the employment picture...
Posted 11 July 2003 - 07:37 PM
NEW YORK -- An arbitrator has ruled that Verizon Communications has to reinstate more than 2,000 employees who were let go in December.
The ruling says that the company will also have to pay out back wages for the seven-month period. It's still unclear how much that would cost Verizon. A Verizon spokesman wasn't immediately available for comment.
The arbitration case revolved around the phone company's workers' labor contract, which says that the company can't lay off workers unless an external event prompts such situation. Arbitration kicked off after the Communications Workers of America (News - Websites) union and Verizon disagreed over the interpretation of the conditions under which Verizon had decided to lay off the workers last December.
"It's a great victory for the union," said Larry Mancino, vice president for CWA District One, which covers New York, New Jersey and New England. "This ruling clearly demonstrates that the company is on the wrong half in terms of dealing with changes in the industry."
Posted 11 July 2003 - 08:06 PM
The queue of people making unemployment benefit claims for two weeks or more leapt 87,000 to 3.82 million in the week to 28 June.
This is the highest figure since February 1983, seasonally adjusted Labor Department figures showed.
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