The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that the November national unemployment rate was now 6.7%, up from 6.5% in October. That means, 533,000 new unemployment claims were submitted in the month of November.
Since December 2007, the unemployment rate has risen 1.7%. This is the largest one-month loss since December 1974.
The recession (If you missed it, it was announced this week by the government gurus that we have officially been in a recession by Dec, 2007, as if we, the working people didn’t already know that) sitting at 12 months and counting, is longer than the 10-month average length of recessions since World War II.
The New York Times reports that due to this factor, this is “promising to make the current recession, already 12 months old, the longest since the Great Depression. The previous record was 16 months, in the severe recession of the mid-1970s [1973 – 75] and early 1980s [1981-1982, where unemployment rates rose as high as 10.8% in late ‘82].” It’s only the fourth time in the past 58 years that payrolls have fallen more than 500,000 in a month. This recession might end up matching that or setting a record in terms of duration, analysts say.
“Our G.D.P. forecast for 2009 is now minus 1.8 percent, rather than minus 1 percent,” HIS Global Insight, a forecasting and data gathering service, informed its clients in an e-mail message this week. “We see the unemployment rate at 8.6 percent by the end of 2009.”
“At this point, it looks like the recession is accelerating,” said Robert MacIntosh, chief economist at Eaton Vance Management. “It’s a negative spiral. If you can’t grow your business, you don’t need more employees, and there is that much less income and that much less spending.”
Among the unemployed, the number of persons who lost their job and did not expect to be recalled to work increased by 298,000 to 4.7 million in November. Over the past 12 months, the size of this group has increased by 2.0 million.
As for the long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was basically unchanged from October to November standing at 2.2 million, but is up by 822,000 over the past 12 months.
In November, the areas of largest job loss were:
■ Manufacturing, –85,000 (-604,000 in the past 12 months)
■ Construction, –82,000 (-780,000 in the past 12 months)
■ Professional & Business Services, –101,000 (-495,000 in the past 12 months)
■ Retail, –91,000, including –24,000 in auto sales (-115,000 in the past 12 months)
■ Leisure & Hospitality, –76,000 (-150,000 since April 2008)
In November, the areas of least job loss were:
■ Transportation & Warehousing, –32,000 (-19,000 in 1 month)
■ Financial Employment, –32,000 (-142,000 in the past 12 months)
And one area actually saw growth in November and over the past 12 months:
■ Health Care, +34,000 (+369,000 in the past 12 months)
DECEMBER IS SHAPING UP TO BE NOT SO JOLLY
Since the beginning of December, companies announced additional layoffs, including AT&T with 12,000 jobs (4% of workforce); JPMorgan Chase & Co., 9,200 (includes 3,400 WaMu jobs); DuPont with 2,500 (4% of workforce); State Street (Boston), 1,800; Viacom, 850; Pratt & Whitney, 350; NBC Universal, 500; Windstream Corp., 170.
In contrast, GM has laid off 9,000 workers since June. Another 5,100 will lose their jobs at the start of 2009. They are receiving supplementary unemployment benefits, or SUB pay, from the auto makers under a separate fund. SUB pay has been a part of the UAW’s contract with automakers since 1995 as a way to provide stable wages for auto workers through factory shutdowns. Government-funded benefits typically cover a third to half of worker pay. Auto makers chip in until a workers’ gross pay is equivalent to 95% of what their take home pay had been.
This is one reason why the automakers what the loans, so they can pay for those who are laid off as part of their UAW contract, not to help with business, not to help with retooling, not to help make the company more profitable, but to give extra money to those who have been laid off, as a supplement to their unemployment benefits.
How’s that for the Big 3 wanting to use your taxpayer money. Talk about sharing the wealth with the wealthy, those who, before being unemployed, had some of the highest per hour incomes in the nation. Including all benefits, many workers in the Big 3 make around $70 an hour. And since 1995, when laid off, their unemployment is supplemented by the Big 3’s SUB fund.
Now, since the Big 3 are running out of money, they want loans so they can pay their unemployed workers the supplement fund. And they want the US taxpayer to pay for it.