The unemployment number to watch: 525,000

The unemployment numbers will be released today but analysts are expecting 525,000 jobs lost in December. Yes, you are reading this right, over half a million jobs in one month.

From Bloomberg:

Analysts said the economy is in danger of a reinforcing cycle of rising unemployment and declining household spending, what policy makers call a negative feedback loop, which is difficult to snap once it’s begun

Uh, I think that's the D word masked in some sort of cycle lingo. Same with Recession lasting for years. Economists and Analysts are saying some very serious things are happening without using the dreaded D. I feel like a child at the dinner table with the parents spelling out D-E-P-P-R-E-S-S-I-O-N.

1.25 MILLION Jobs Lost in 3 Months!

The November payrolls number just came out, blowing away almost all estimates at a loss of 533,000 jobs in one month! The services sector, which had been holding up until only a couple of months ago, shed over half of those jobs.

September was also revised down to 403,000 job losses, and October was revised to 320,000 job losses, for a total of job losses in just 3 months of 1,250,000 jobs!

China: employment situation turning "grim"

In the US voters opted for "Change we can believe in". In China, according to Bloomberg, workers are taking a rather more direct route:

Labor strife is a ``top concern'' as the job outlook turns ``grim,'' Yin Weimin, head of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said today at a briefing....

It's a ``challenge to the regime's legitimacy when economic growth slows,'' said Joseph Cheng, a politics professor at City University of Hong Kong....

``People losing their jobs could well lead to more protests,'' said Kevin O'Brien, a professor of political science at the University of California, Berkeley ....
A survey of 84 cities showed demand for workers fell 5.5 percent in the third quarter, the first decline in years....

Unemployment Climbs Near 1982 Levels

Unemployment is increasing so fast, so dramatic, well, all I can say is Merry Christmas. Even in normal times Corporations like to give pink slips as stocking stuffers, just in time for the Holidays. This year they have a jump on that fine act and being fired is now the gift that keeps on giving, way before the actual holiday pink slip season.
BLS Unemployment rate graph, updated

U.S. Economy: Jobless Claims Approach Highest Level Since 1982 :

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits approached a 26-year high, and a gauge of the economy's future performance dropped, sending yields on benchmark Treasuries to record lows.

State unemployment funds going broke

This is like a bad blues song. We're down so low that even the friggin state unemployment funds are going broke.

Michigan's unemployment fund has run out of money to pay claims, as the automotive economy sheds tens of thousands of jobs every month. The state has borrowed money from the federal government for each of the past three years to cover its costs. It's always paid back the loans, but this year that may not happen. The fund has run out of the money it banked during the flush years.

"Michigan has had high unemployment for many years now, among the highest in the country," Gheske says, "and that has posed a tremendous strain on the trust fund."

Unemployment Jumps - Are We Surprised?

Whenever there is a jump in new unemployment claims one has to love the main stream media trying to spin it away. This time it's Hurricanes.

For the week ended Sept. 27, seasonally adjusted first-time claims for unemployment benefits rose 1,000, to stand at 497,000 -- the highest since late September 2001

In Silicon valley, the figure stands at 6.6 percent.

Venture Capital which funds start up companies is expecting (hasn't happened quite yet) a spending squeeze.