Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ten Reasons why the US Economy is Worse Than You Think

Mort Zuckerman writes in the Wall Street Journal:
1. 185,000 fictitious new jobs help prop up official employment totals
2. People asked to take unpaid leave not counted as unemployed, not paid either
3. 1.4 Million people gave up looking for work, not counted as unemployed
4. 9 Million people settled for part time work, double the pre-recession total
5. Average private sector work week down 48 minutes to 33 hours
6. Average length of official unemployment now record high 24.5 weeks
7. No wage increases in June
8. Highest job loss is in goods-producing sector, 223,000 jobs in June
9. Employers will work current workers more hours rather than hire more, if more output is needed
10. Savings rate has reached 7% of income, up from 0% in 2007, diverting money from consumption.

Weak consumer sector, weak employment outlook, growing awareness of the severity of this downturn.

Canada is much better positioned than the US, methinks, at least those parts of Canada with resource-related economies. Ontario and Quebec's manufacturing sectors are in for a rough ride as their US export market withers.

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