Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Layoffs Surge

From CNBC:

November layoffs at U.S. firms surged to their highest monthly level in nearly seven years during November, led by the financial and auto sectors, according to separate reports released Wednesday.

Job cuts announced in November totaled 181,671, up 61 percent from October and 148 percent higher than November 2007, when job cuts totaled 73,140, outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas said in a report released on Wednesday.

A separate report by ADP Employer Services put the November job cuts at 250,000 jobs.

The November planned layoffs was the largest monthly toll since January 2002, when employers announced a record 248,475 planned layoffs.

Friday's job report is looking, well, terrible.

Let me add this as well. My own read on the next year is the following.

1.) So far we've lost about 16% of the total jobs created during the latest expansion (7.2 million created and 1.2 million lost). I'm obviously expecting that number to increase. The worst rate of job loss during a contraction over the last 60 years is 50% -- meaning, the percentage of jobs lost of all those created during the expansion. So, assuming a terrible rate of job loss -- say 250,000 to 300,000 a month, that means we've got about 6 months of job losses before we get to 50% rate of job losses.

2.) It's pretty obvious the new administration is considering a big stimulus bill. Assuming it will be large enough it should be enough to prevent a serious downturn. By large enough, I'm thinking $500 billion or so. Assuming that to be the case, we're looking at at least two more quarters of serious problems, probably followed by at least an additional two quarters (3Q - 4Q 2009) of really slow growth.

That means next year is shaping up to be a pretty bad year.