Friday, April 03, 2009

The Employment Report: Have We Hit Bottom?

Measured by the survey of U.S. establishments, jobs fell by approximately two thirds of a million in March (661,000) and the unemployment rate rose to 8.5 percent.

The financial services sector has lost a half million jobs since December, 2006.

And for the Wichita economy,what about the aircraft industry?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes data on employment in transportation equipment other than motor vehicles which is predominantly the aircraft industry. In our sector, jobs fell by 8,400 in March with a total decline of over 75,000 since September.

And the future?

Two weeks ago I said my hunch was we were at the bottom. The employment report is grim, nevertheless, I am now convinced that we are at the recession trough. The vast worldwide inventory correction should have run its course. Many of the indicators (housing starts, factory orders, home sales) have hit bottom and have turned up, if only for a month. The stock market, the earliest of leading indicators is rallying. Unfortunately employment will lag well beyond the cyclical bottom.

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