Orders to U.S. Factories Declined in May More Than Forecast
July 02, 2010, 10:02 AM EDT
By Timothy R. Homan
July 2 (Bloomberg) -- Orders placed with U.S. factories declined in May more than forecast, a sign that manufacturing may be starting to cool.
Manufacturers are seeing a pause in demand after the industry helped the world’s largest economy emerge from the worst recession since the 1930s. Today’s figures underscore the Federal Reserve’s concerns that the European debt crisis poses a risk to a self-sustaining U.S. recovery.
“Manufacturing has been the star of the economy this year so any signs that conditions are turning would cause some concern,” Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors Inc. in Holland, Pennsylvania, said before the report. “The demand for products is slowing.”
Estimates of total orders in the Bloomberg survey of 70 economists ranged from a decline of 2 percent to a gain of 1.5 percent. The decrease in May was the first in nine months. moreAnd then there's unemployment.
The Real Unemployment Rate: 21.5%
Author: Mac Slavo
- July 2nd, 2010
If you’re only paying attention to President Obama, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the mainstream media, you’d think that the employment situation in America was getting much better.
The BLS reports that the unemployment rate dropped from 9.7% in May to just 9.5% in June. The recovery is well under way if you’re simply looking at headlines.
The fine print, however, tells a different story.
First, for those unaware of what the 9.5% reported rate for June means, it’s referred to by the BLS as the U3, or, the “official” unemployment rate. Here’s a basic definition of the U3:
The official definition of unemployment used by the BLS includes anyone age 16 or older who is not institutionalized and is not currently employed, but able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work.
The official definition of unemployment also excludes certain groups who are sometimes thought of as being unemployed or “underemployed.” Those who would like to work, but who have stopped looking for work - so-called discouraged workers - are not counted in the official definition because they are not actively seeking work. People working part time who would prefer full-time work are also not counted as unemployed because they are working - albeit fewer hours than they would like.
You can see the problem almost immediately with the “official” numbers touted by Washington and the talking heads on television. Most mainstream news you watch or read will provide information only on the U3. moreAnd some more "good" news that investors find interesting.
America The Screwed: A Field Guide To Our Dismal Economy
John Mauldin | Jul. 3, 2010, 8:22 AM
There's a reason economics is called the dismal science, and weeks like this just give it further meaning. In economics, there is what you see and what you don't.
This week we are going to examine the headline data we all see and then take a look for what most observers do not see. Then we'll try to think about what it all really means. With employment, housing, and the ISM numbers, there is a lot to cover. And this letter will print out longer than usual, as there are a lot of charts. Warning: remove sharp objects from the vicinity and pour yourself your favorite adult beverage. This does not make for fun reading. moreAnd for extra fun, the numbers on long-term joblessness.
7.9 million jobs lost, many forever
Chris Isidore, senior writer, On Friday July 2, 2010, 11:46 pm EDT
The recession killed off 7.9 million jobs. It's increasingly likely that many will never come back.
The government jobs report issued Friday shows that businesses have slowed their pace of hiring to a relative trickle.
"The job losses during the Great Recession were so off the chart, that even though we've gained about 600,000 private sector jobs back, we've got nearly 8 million jobs to go," said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of Economic Cycle Research Institute.
Excluding temporary Census workers, the economy has added fewer than 100,000 jobs a month this year -- a much faster and stronger jobs recovery than occurred following the last two recessions in 2001 and 1991.
But even if that pace of hiring were to double immediately, it would take until 2013 to recapture the lost jobs. And the labor market very likely doesn't have years before it gets hit with the shock of the inevitable next economic downturn. more