Some people were wondering what happened to me yesterday because my missive lacked the depressing news that characterize my reports. I’ll make up for it today.
Initial jobless claims were down only slightly despite massive hiring by the Census Bureau. Ross Perot’s old company ADP; they handle a large segment of the payrolls in the US; they estimate that the private sector lost 23,000 jobs last month and their numbers are usually right. Analysts had predicted a net gain of 40,000. Continuing unemployment claims continued to climb despite people running out of eligibility and ceasing to get benefits or to be counted.
The big job placement firm Challenger Grey & Christmas report US companies have 60% more layoffs planned than the previous month. People in companies that arrange out sourcing for other companies say those companies are planning to out-source 25% of the remaining US jobs, it’s just a matter of making it happen.
The stock market was up today on reports that manufacturing output was up in Great Britain, the US and China, that would be mostly in China. US manufacturing is up because of increasing inventory after being pared to the bone because of the credit freeze. The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index was down sharply for March instead of the up trend that had been predicted and it was down last month too. This means they are not planning on any up tick in business as they send ever more jobs to China.
Treasury Secretary Geithner said today that administration officials are "very worried" about recovering the more than 8 million jobs lost in the recession. (it’s really 11 million to make up for population growth) He said the unemployment rate of 9.7 percent is "unacceptably high." The Obama Adm has been predicting that job creation will be 300,000 a month soon. Even with the Census Bureau hiring 700,000 people the jobs numbers aren’t what any reasonable person would call good and those Census jobs will be mostly gone by August.
There is only one thing Obama can do about jobs and that is to raise the current tariff rate of 2% back up to traditional levels. A trade policy that worked well from 1792 until it was ended 200 years later. There were previous attempts to end tariffs such as when the Customs House at Fort Sumter was seized. Conservatives didn’t like paying Federal taxes then either. Many of their other attitudes have remained unchanged as well. The Tea Baggers plan to march on Washington on tax day and militia types are trying to work up the courage to bring their guns. They should read a description of the First Battle of Bull Run that took place across the river from Washington in the summer of 1861. The Confederate tea baggers thought that god was on their side then as well. www.prairie2.com