Thursday, November 1, 2012

It's The Economy Stupid: A Bunch of Stuff


Economic Event


Economic Survey

Actual Reported

Original Prior

Revised Prior

Challenger Job Cuts YoY






RBC Consumer Outlook Index






ADP Employment Change






Nonfarm Productivity

3Q P





Unit Labor Costs

3Q P





Initial Jobless Claims

OCT 27





Continuing Claims

OCT 20






Challenger Job Cuts


Layoffs planned by U.S.-based companies climbed 41% during October from the prior month, which had seen the second-lowest levels in nearly two years, according to data from consulting firm Challenger Gray & Christmas Inc.


"The final three months of the year tend to see heavier downsizing activity as companies make year-end adjustments to meet earnings goals and to prepare for the new year," said Challenger Chief Executive John A. Challenger. "Certainly, the deluge of weak third-quarter earnings reports that resulted from declining sales here and abroad does not bode well for workers as 2013 approaches."  The fiscal cliff is real y’all.


U.S.-based employers in October said they planned to cut 47,724 jobs, an increase of 12% from a year earlier. The tally represents the highest monthly level since May, when 61,887 planned layoffs were announced.


Despite the big increase in planned layoffs last month, the count of layoffs for the first 10 months of 2012--at 433,725--is down 17% from the 521,823 cuts announced in the year-earlier period.


ADP Employment Change


I don’t know what to make of the ADP numbers because they changed their methodology.  It will take a couple of reports to figure out what the new numbers mean compared to the old numbers.


Jobless Claims


Initial Jobless Claims in U.S. Decrease by 9,000 to 363,000.  Fewer Americans than forecast filed first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, an

indication demand is strong enough to maintain current staff levels.  Data for New Jersey and the District of Columbia were estimated because those offices were closed due to Hurricane Sandy, a spokesman said as the figures were released.


Fewer firings may mean companies are poised to boost hiring should the economy avert damage from the package of tax increases and spending cuts that will take effect next year if lawmakers fail to act. Jobless claims have been trending down.  We’re not seeing as many layoffs, but at the end of the day we’re not seeing a whole lot of hiring either.


Worker Productivity


The productivity of U.S. workers rose more than projected in the third quarter as companies wrung out more output from their employees in order to keep a lid on costs.  The measure of employee output per hour climbed at a 1.9 percent annual rate, the same as the prior quarter, and labor expenses unexpectedly dropped at a 0.1 percent (-0.1%) pace.


Extended Benefits


Those who’ve used up their traditional benefits and are now collecting emergency and extended payments increased by about 47,000 to 2.13 million in the week ended Oct. 13. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 2.5 percent in the week ended Oct. 20. Twenty-three states and territories reported an increase in claims, while 30 reported a decrease.


Initial jobless claims reflect weekly firings and tend to fall as job growth -- measured by the monthly non-farm payrolls report -- accelerates.  Last month’s projected payroll gain would indicate the labor market has little momentum heading into 2013. Employment climbed by 146,000 a month on average in the third quarter.


Spending Cuts


Cuts in public spending are also hurting employment at government contractors, showing what could happen in the event the fiscal cliff materializes. Oshkosh Corp., the Wisconsin- based company that makes commercial trucks and supplies blast- resistant trucks to the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, said Oct. 26

it would cut 450 jobs in January due to lower demand from the Defense Department.



John Broussard

Assistant State Treasurer

Chief Investment Officer

State of Louisiana

Department of the Treasury

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