November Unemployment Statistics to Highlight Economic Reports This Week

Money Morning Staff Reports

This week’s economic reports will be highlighted by Friday’s unemployment report, which analysts expect will illustrate the 11th straight month of declining job ranks in the U.S. economy.

Non-farm payroll employment fell by 240,000 in October, and the unemployment rate jumped to 6.5%, up from 6.1% the month before, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in early November.

October’s drop in payroll employment followed declines of 127,000 in August and 284,000 in September, according to revised BLS reports. Employment has fallen by 1.2 million in the first 10 months of 2008, with more than half of that decrease occurring in August, September and October. In October, job losses continued in manufacturing, construction and several service-providing industries. Conversely, the healthcare and mining sectors saw their job ranks grow.

And it’s going to get much worse before it gets better, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) has predicted. Goldman Sachs says the U.S. unemployment rate will spike to 9.0% by the fourth quarter of 2009, as corporate profits plunge an estimated 25% – and that’s after an estimated decline in profits of about 10% this year, Goldman analysts say. The U.S. economy – as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) – will decline by 5.0% in the current quarter, followed by declines of 3.0% in the first quarter of 2009 and 1.0% in the second quarter, Goldman analysts predict.

Those numbers are worse than Goldman originally predicted, and create an outlook similar to Money Morning’sprojections, which called for a credit-crisis-nurtured economic downturn that could last as long as 12-18 months.

The NBER yesterday (Monday) formally announced that the U.S. economy peaked and entered into a recession in December 2007. The U.S. Commerce Department estimated that the U.S. economy, as measured by GDP, rose 0.9% in the first quarter. In the second quarter, GDP advanced an estimated 2.8%. For the third quarter, GDP declined an estimated 0.3%.

Also this week, the U.S. Federal Reserve’s “We have marked down our forecasts for US real GDP in response to continuing signs of falling domestic and foreign demand, labor market deterioration, renewed tightening in financial conditions, and an apparent impasse in fiscal policy pending the transfer of power to the Obama administration in late January. As a result, we expect the unemployment rate to reach 9% by the fourth quarter of 2009, profits to fall 25% for 2009 as a whole following an estimated 10% drop this year, and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to use nontraditional policy tools more aggressively, as detailed below - Beige Book - due out tomorrow (Wednesday) – offers a look into activity within the various regions of the country.

Weekly Economic Calendar




November 24

Existing Home Sales (10/08)

Lowest median residential sales price since early 2004

November 25

GDP ( 3rd quarter)

Downward revision reflects even weaker economy


Consumer Confidence (11/08)

Surprising gain, though last month was lowest on record

November 26

Durable Goods Orders (10/08)

Largest decline in two years


Initial Jobless Claims (11/22/08)

Slight decline but still reflects recessionary times


New Home Sales (10/08)

Slowest pace of sales since January 1991


Personal Income/Spending (10/08)

Worse than expected drop in spending

November 27


GO SHOPPING (and support the economy)

The Week Ahead



December 1

Construction Spending (10/08)



ISM (Manu) Index (11/08)


December 3

ISM (Services) Index (11/08)



Fed Beige Book


December 4

Initial Jobless Claims (11/29/08)



Factory Orders (10/08)


December 5

Unemployment Rate (11/08)



Non-farm Payroll (11/08)



Consumer Credit (10/08)


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