Okay, here’s ECONOMICS FOR DUMMIES: Job Cuts UP (Bad), Consumer Confidence DOWN (Bad), Productivity DOWN (Bad), Labor Costs UP (Bad), Initial Jobless Claims DOWN (Good), Continuing Jobless Claims DOWN (Good).
Challenger Job Cuts YoY
RBC Consumer Outlook Index
Unit Labor Costs
Initial Jobless Claims
The productivity of U.S. workers rose at a slower pace than in the prior three months, perhaps showing companies are reaching the limits of how much efficiency they can squeeze from existing workforces.
The measure of worker output per hour increased at a 0.7 percent annual rate following a 1.9 percent gain in the prior three months, figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington. Expenses per employee climbed at a 1.2 percent rate after dropping 2.1 percent in the third quarter.
It appears that businesses in the U.S. that are growing more confident about the economy may be hiring more workers after the recession and its aftermath led them to search for ways to lift efficiency without creating new jobs.
As job growth picks up, we’re probably going to see some slowing in productivity.
Applications for unemployment insurance payments dropped by 12,000 to 367,000 in the week ended Jan. 28. The median forecast of 46
economists in a Bloomberg News survey projected 371,000 Initial Jobless Claims.
The S&P 500 has rallied 21 percent from its 2011 low in October amid signs that the U.S. economy was weathering Europe’s debt crisis. Government data tomorrow is forecast by economists to show the U.S. added 145,000 jobs in January and the unemployment rate held at a three-year low of 8.5 percent. That’s the questimate, we’ll see tomorrow what’s reality.
Earnings beat projections at 66 percent of the 211 companies in the S&P 500 that reported quarterly results since Jan. 9th. Profits probably grew 4.6 percent in the fourth quarter, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts. The projection has fallen from 6.2 percent at the end of last year.
So the earnings news is good, but not as good as it has been.
Assistant State Treasurer
Chief Investment Officer
State of Louisiana
Department of the Treasury