As Politico says, this has been the toughest week for Obama yet. The Daschle withdrawl (which I’m glad to see) will be discussed endlessly for the next 68 hours or so. And we’ll see another two days of approving coverage of the McCain-Wurzelbacher anti-stimulus jihad.
But Friday morning, there’s going to be a very scary jobs report. Some predict unemployment will hit 8%. A seven figure loss of jobs is not out of the question.
It will be interesting to see what they make of this on Morning Ho. I predict at least a five minute interruption in their analysis of Obama’s supposed comments on Jessica Simpson.
Am I being too optimistic?
Update: My economics guru predicts only 700K job losses, mostly because there’s really only three weeks of firing to be done in January (the first week is vacation). Here’s his full analysis after the break, if anyone is interested.
it’s interesting. GDP growth came in at “only” 5.1% down last quarter (real number was 3.8% because of some weird inventory build-up that added 1.3%, which i still don’t understand why that happened, but it means that 1.3% decline gets pushed to next quarter).
if that’s the case, then it means that employers kept people around for the christmas period making things they just jammed into inventory and so this means they kept people around until post christmas when the firings will occur (jan, feb, or march).
So…., i guess Jan, Feb, or March numbers should be huge, while dec revisions should be small.
Maybe corporate america just didn’t want to fire people in nov and dec because they were nice/lazy, OR, they figured “hey, let’s keep people around, build up some big inventories, then just fire everyone and live off of our inventories in case the economy picks up in 6 months, and if it doesn’t, well, we’re properly sized for a near depression”. I’d implement the latter strategy if I was running a steel company or the like, especially given the current cheap price of energy and commodities, but I might go with the first strategy as what senior business guys think because quite simply they don’t think ahead, were probably on vacation, and so didn’t want to make any tough decisions Q4.
Regardless, I’d say look for big layoff numbers for jan, feb, march. Will probably exceed the 500K losses in December. I’d say look for losses around your number, maybe a touch less, say 700K. The first week of Jan everyone is still on vacation so there’s only 3 weeks of firings to do. If it’s more than 700K then that’s really grim. Projections for the ENTIRE year are about 3m job losses, so if 25% occur in one month that’s huge. If it’s over 800K, or god help us, 1m, I’m heading for the hills.
Retail is going to get absolutely slaughtered. Literally a bloodbath. They don’t fire in December, but they are now.
One modifier – people may have fired in december in order to get all the negative costs into the 2008 calendar so that 2009 will look better.