Saturday, January 10, 2009

Collapse by the numbers....,

WSJ Online | The worsening U.S. economy hit the nation's work force hard in December, as the unemployment rate climbed to 7.2% and brought the total number of jobs lost last year to just over 2.5 million -- the most since 1945.

Of those, 1.9 million vanished in just the final four months of the year.

Job losses spared no region or sector, except for small increases in education and health-care services and government employment. The U.S. lost 524,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department said Friday. Financial markets sank on the news, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 143.28 points, or 1.64%, to close at 8,599.18 on Friday.
1) The average work week has dropped to 33.3 hr, a record low (since the end of WW2), 2) The dark number ( estimated actual unemployed number) rose to 13.5% from 12.8% last month.

If 32hr is regarded as part time employment, we are now very close to being a nation of predominantly part time workers (therefore without benefits).

So our staggering trade deficits (asset losses) should be improving as we buy less? No, in fact it worsened last month as we exported even less. We lost about 750 billion USD in hard assets to the rest of the world, again, this past year from the trade imbalance alone.