unemployment

Chicago Ties Birmingham, Alabama, For Highest Jobless Rate Among Large Metro Areas In December

This morning the U.S. Department of Labor handed the Chicago metropolitan area some bad news on the employment front. From a Bureau of Labor Statistics news release this morning entitled “Metropolitan Area Employment And Unemployment- December 2016”:

Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more, Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, Mass.-N.H., had the lowest unemployment rate in December, 2.5 percent, followed by Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., 2.6 percent, and Salt Lake City, Utah, 2.7 percent. Birmingham-Hoover, Ala., and Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis., had the highest jobless rates among the large areas, 5.4 percent each.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Worrisome.

You can read the entire BLS news release here (.pdf format).

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 Business, Employment, Government No Comments

16,700 Illinois Jobs Gone In December

Illinois lost 4,500 jobs in November, followed by a whopping 16,700 jobs last month. From an Illinois Department of Employment Security news release Friday:

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate in December inched up +0.1 percentage points to 5.7 percent and nonfarm payrolls decreased by -16,700 jobs over the month, based on preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and IDES. November job growth was revised down to show a decrease of -4,500 jobs rather than the preliminary figure of +1,700 jobs. The downward revision, coupled with the drop in December payrolls kept job growth well below the national average, with Illinois -52,500 jobs short of its peak employment level reached in September 2000.

“Nonfarm payrolls reflect the job market and this kind of drop is troubling, to say the least,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “It’s the largest monthly decline we’ve seen this year and the drop was across most sectors.”

“Another month of climbing unemployment numbers that are far from the national average,” said Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity Acting Director Sean McCarthy. “Illinois needs structural reforms and a balanced budget to attract new jobs and investment in our state. We cannot repair the damage of losing 11,000 manufacturing jobs, 9,700 construction jobs and 5,800 information and financial activities jobs over the course of just one year without real changes that create growth and opportunity in our economy.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

To be fair, IDES added:

Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +28,400 jobs with the largest gains in two industry sectors: Professional and Business Services (+31,600); and Leisure and Hospitality (+11,900)…

Hmm. “Professional and Business Services,” which includes temporary staffing (booming after the bust). And “Leisure and Hospitality,” one of the lowest-wage sectors of the economy. Get where I’m going with this?

January’s job report should be interesting.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Monday, January 23rd, 2017 Business, Employment, Government, Manufacturing No Comments

Jim Rickards: ‘We’re Going To Go Into A Recession Or The Stock Market Is Going To Have A Very Severe Correction’

Marc Faber isn’t the only “crash prophet” who realizes the financial environment U.S. President-elect Donald Trump could inherit is significantly different than what Ronald Reagan encountered in 1981. Back on December 5 I blogged about James (Jim) Rickards, an American lawyer, economist, investment banker, and best-selling author, who was on RTÉ Radio 1 (Ireland) the prior week informing listeners of the following:

Less regulation, lower taxes, and a lot more infrastructure spending. This was Ronald Reagan’s playbook. This is what Ronald Reagan did in 1981 with a lot of success. But there are big differences, reasons to believe Trump will not be as successful. Namely because when Reagan came in, the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio- the amount of debt relative to our economy- was 35 percent. Today it’s almost 105 percent. Reagan had inflation of 20 percent. Trump has it close to zero. In other words, Reagan had a lot of tailwinds– inflation had to come down, interest rates had to come down, he had fiscal space to run up the debt. Trump has headwinds

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Last Tuesday, Rickards appeared on CNBC TV’s Squawk Box (Asia) and made this prediction about Trump’s first term in the Oval Office:

I definitely see a stock market correction, perhaps a disorderly one Martin. I’m not sure the Fed is ready to cut rates yet. But I expect it will raise rates in March. I think that’s on track. But beyond that, we’re going to go into a recession or the stock market is going to have a very severe correction. Either one of those will cause the Fed to back-pedal.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

CNBC anchor Martin Soong asked his guest, “What is it going to take to cause these two outcomes- what’s the trigger going to be?” Rickards replied:

First of all, it’s already happening. There’s basically a head-long collision coming between perception and reality. So what’s the perception? The market’s rising on the Trump reflation trade. So, Trump wants to cut taxes. Steve Bannon’s talking to his advisors about a trillion dollars of infrastructure spending, cutting regulations. So all these things are viewed to be highly stimulative. So that’s why the market’s going up… But with the Fed, they’re thinking of two things. Number one, they believe in the Phillips Curve… With unemployment at 4.6 percent and that kind of stimulus coming, they know monetary policy acts with a lag- they want to get out ahead of inflation. So they’re on track to raise rates. By the way, they want to raise them anyway independent of this because they’ve got to raise them so they can cut them in the next recession. So the Fed’s on track to raise. The market expects stimulus. But here’s the point. The stimulus is not going to come. Congress has already said tax cuts have to be revenue neutral- that’s going to take away the stimulative effect. They’re going to balk at more spending. We have $20 trillion of debt. A 104 percent debt-to-GDP ratio. So we’re not going to get this trillion dollars of spending. And we’re in the eighth year of an expansion Martin. Keynesian stimulus- if it works at all, it works at the beginning of an expansion or in a recession. Not after 8 years. You don’t get much bang for the buck.


“Fed to reverse course by year-end: Expert”
CNBC Video

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Donald Trump Inheriting A ‘Poisoned Chalice’?

I’ve had this suspicion for some time now that whoever won the 2016 U.S. presidential election is very likely inheriting a “poisoned chalice.”

When I launched Boom2Bust.com, “The Most Hated Blog On Wall Street,” on Memorial Day weekend 2007, I started warning readers of a coming U.S. financial collapse.

After moving on to Survival And Prosperity in 2010, I came to believe the economy/larger financial system had already entered a long, drawn-out descent before the eventual crash.

That downward trajectory would be punctuated by crises like what reared its ugly head in the autumn of 2008.

Financial types were quick to label the recession at the end of last decade as the “Great Recession.”

This “nattering nabob of negativity” thinks it’s only a matter of time before a “Greater Recession” strikes, fueled by Washington and the Fed “kicking the can down the road” and having too few bullets left when that “road” inevitably runs out.

President-elect Trump is also aware of the possibility of such economic upheaval.

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa reported on The Washington Post website back on April 2, 2016:

Donald Trump said in an interview that economic conditions are so perilous that the country is headed for a “very massive recession” and that “it’s a terrible time right now” to invest in the stock market, embracing a distinctly gloomy view of the economy that counters mainstream economic forecasts…

Trump has for months contended that the U.S. economy is in trouble because of what he sees as an overvalued stock market, but his view has grown more pessimistic of late and he is now bearish on investing, to the point of warning Americans against doing so.

“I think we’re sitting on an economic bubble. A financial bubble,” Trump said. He made clear that he was not specifying a sector of the economy but the economy at large and asserted that more bullish forecasts were based on skewed employment numbers and an inflated stock market.

“First of all, we’re not at 5 percent unemployment. We’re at a number that’s probably into the twenties if you look at the real number,” Trump said. “That was a number that was devised, statistically devised to make politicians- and, in particular, presidents — look good. And I wouldn’t be getting the kind of massive crowds that I’m getting if the number was a real number.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Yet Trump, as President-elect of the United States, chooses to accept the potential “poisoned chalice,” from which he might be forced to drink from during his tenure in the Oval Office as the current economic expansion grows long in the tooth.

Consider the following from Jeffrey Sparshott in The Wall Street Journal’s Real Time Economics blog this morning:

Donald Trump is poised to inherit one of the longest-lived economic expansions since the World War II era. Barring any sudden shock or sudden acceleration, the president-elect will also take office during the weakest

The economy has been growing for more than seven years, ranking the expansion the fourth-longest since 1949 (when quarterly data became available). If economic expansion continues through Mr. Trump’s first term, it will be the longest.

While gross domestic product, a broad measure of economic of output, is advancing, it’s been at the slowest rate on record for an expansion

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I’d like to think Donald Trump and the Republicans could turn this ship around and avert economic disaster.

I, for one, would only be too happy to be proven wrong about my prediction of a “Greater Recession” and eventual collapse.

But I fear the damage may already be done.

So much so that the incoming White House might want to level with the American people about what might be in store for them from an economic standpoint.

Otherwise, the public will have less of a fighting chance of weathering the financial storm should it hit.

Not to mention opponents of a Trump administration will try hard to pin the blame on them for a painful event previous administrations played a big part in creating.

One need only look at Illinois where Republican Governor Bruce Rauner (only 22 months in office) is facing the same baseless charges for decades of mismanagement perpetrated by those across the political aisle.

President-elect Trump has his work cut out for him as the economy is concerned. The billionaire businessman seems to be up for the challenge, and America will know soon enough if he can pull off yet another amazing feat.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Costa, Robert and Woodward, Bob. “In a revealing interview, Trump predicts a ‘massive recession’ but intends to eliminate the national debt in 8 years.” The Washington Post. 2 Apr. 2016. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-turmoil-or-triumph-donald-trump-stands-alone/2016/04/02/8c0619b6-f8d6-11e5-a3ce-f06b5ba21f33_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_trumppresidency-7pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory). 11 Nov. 2016.

Sparshott, Jeffrey. “The U.S. Economy President Donald Trump Will Inherit, in 11 Charts.” Real Time Economics. 11 Nov. 2016. (http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2016/11/11/the-u-s-economy-president-donald-trump-will-inherit-in-11-charts/). 11 Nov. 2016.

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British Preppers’ Take On The June 23 ‘Brexit’ Vote

This afternoon I came across a piece about tomorrow’s “Brexit” vote (deciding whether Britain should leave/ remain in the European Union)- from the standpoint of British preppers- on the Preppers Shop UK Blog. From “The UK’s only dedicated prepping shop” on June 21:

How you should prepare for the EU referendum result.

Whichever side of the fence you sit on, it would be foolish to think that the result wont have a massive effect on everyone.

There are plenty of concerns if we stay in. European army, several new countries joining the EU, the crumbling euro, increased immigration putting strains on services and increased control over our laws from the EU.

If we vote out there will inevitably be a temporary drop in the economy and there is of course uncertainty over what will happen, after all its never been done before.

As preppers we should be considering how it could effect us…

The post went on to discuss the prospects for:

• “Social unrest.”
• “Job loss.”
• “Drop in the sterling.”
• “Food & fuel shortages.”

An insightful look at how America’s prepper cousins “across the pond” perceive Thursday’s historic event, which you can read in its entirety here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Quote For The Week

“Somebody says they’re going to make America great again. They need to talk to people for whom it wasn’t so great. And then we need to recognize that white, non-college-educated Americans have seen great drops in their income, have seen great increases in their unemployment rate, have seen drops in their life expectancy. And they need to be brought along to the future. But they can’t live under the illusion that you can reclaim a past which is just that- past. This country is always about the future…”

-Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, speaking at Union County College (Cranford, New Jersey) on June 1

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Peter Schiff: Obama, Fed Presided Over Phony Recovery, Sees ‘Major, Major Currency Crisis’ Coming

This past weekend, Peter Schiff, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, uploaded a new video to The Schiff Report on YouTube.com. Schiff, who correctly-called last decade’s housing crash and recent global economic crisis, noted that it had been a while since he released an entry to this vlog. As such, Schiff talked about a number of subjects. He advised viewers:

I think that we’re already in recession. It’s just that the Fed hasn’t acknowledged it yet. And one of the reasons that Janet Yellen is so reluctant to come clean and acknowledge how weak the economy is because number one, it undercuts President Obama, who’s going around the world claiming the United States has the strongest economy in the world when we’re, in fact, in recession. Even Europe is growing faster than the United States. Yet somehow President Obama wants to claim credit for saving the U.S. economy and producing all this non-existent growth. While the Federal Reserve doesn’t want to peddle fiction, in the words of President Obama. So it doesn’t want to basically undercut his message of an economic recovery by acknowledging that it’s over. And for the same reason the Fed doesn’t want to take the wind out of Hillary Clinton’s sails, because she wants to sail into the White House based on the prosperity that was supposedly created by President Obama. So Janet Yellen doesn’t want to undercut her message because she wants to run on four more years. And the Fed can’t admit that we’re back in recession. And also the Federal Reserve has already claimed credit for success. They want to pretend that their monetary policies created this real recovery. They don’t want to acknowledge it ended. So they have their own credibility on the line. They want to pretend that the economy is still recovering…

Meanwhile, I think it’s the United States that’s going to launch a whole new round of easing. I think they’re going to be lowering interest rates back to zero and launching QE 4. The only unknown is whether they’re going to do it before or after the election. And it depends on how quickly the economy or the markets unravel, because Yellen would rather have to come to the rescue of the economy before the election, because admitting that it needs rescuing is going to be a problem for Hillary Clinton and it’s going to help Donald Trump. And I know Janet Yellen does not want to see Donald Trump as the next President. So that is the fine line that she is trying to walk. Whether she admits the economy is weak enough and needs stimulus, or whether she puts the stimulus anyway because it’s so weak she’s worried about the economy being too deep in a recession when voters go to the polls. And in that case, the Federal Reserve simply has to come up with some kind of excuse to try and blame things on the global economy. But the problem is, the situation is already turning around in the global economy. The real problem in the global economy is the United States.

And if you look at the action in the markets, people are just starting to figure this out. But it’s still kind of like a deer in the headlight moment. I think a lot of traders, a lot of people who are managing money on Wall Street. They’ve been getting beaten up this year. A lot of the big players are losing a lot of money because they are positioned for the wrong outcome. Everybody has believed this narrative of a legitimate recovery, where the Federal Reserve will be normalizing interest rates. I’ve known all along that that was a farce. That the economy hadn’t recovered. That the Federal Reserve had in fact prevented a recovery. That the U.S. economy is actually in worse shape now than it was in 2008. So rather than a recovery, we actually got sicker. We just covered up some of the symptoms. But we have exacerbated all of the problems. And President Obama- he’s hasn’t presided over a recovery at all. He’s presided over a bigger bubble than his predecessor. And in fact, the economic disaster that awaits his successor, is going to be much bigger than the disaster he inherited from George Bush. And he spent the entire last eight years of his presidency blaming everything bad on Bush, and claiming that he got us out of that mess. Well, the reality is, he has gotten us into a much bigger mess. And whoever succeeds him is going to have to deal with it. It will be interesting though if its ends up being Hillary Clinton. Is she going to still blame the disaster on Bush, and just forget about the eight years of Obama, and try and blame the recession she is going to inherit as some kind of leftover, residual recession from the Bush years? As if President Obama had actually nothing to do with it, when his policies simply exacerbated all the problems. He just double-downed on the failed policies of Bush. But then he added a lot of other policies that were even worse. And that is why this so-called recovery has been the weakest recovery that we have ever had. And, in fact, if the truth were known. If the numbers weren’t cooked by artificially-low inflation rates, we would have a much weaker recovery or we’d have no recovery at all. But the people who are voting for Bernie Sanders or voting for Donald Trump- they are living in this recession. This phony recovery that President Obama and the Federal Reserve want to take credit for.

Schiff hasn’t deviated from his long-held belief of a coming dollar crisis. He warned viewers:

This is going to be a major, major currency crisis. And unfortunately, the currency crisis/economic crisis that’s coming- maybe it’ll start before Obama leaves office, just like the financial crisis blew up on the last year of the Bush administration. Or maybe it will be an inaugural present for Donald Trump or for Hillary Clinton. But this crisis that’s coming is going to be much worse, much worse, on an order of magnitude, kind of like a Richter scale-worse, than the financial crisis of 2008. Because the combination of bad fiscal policy and bad monetary policy, particularly monetary policy but also things like ObamaCare- all the things that the Federal Reserve and the federal government have done over the last seven or eight years have made the problem so much worse. Meanwhile, the debt has gotten so much bigger. The leverage has gotten so much bigger. The number of players, the financial markets, are so much more out-of-whack based on a false expectation of what is likely to happen. I mean, this is worse- these are bigger imbalances than we had leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. Fewer people are prepared for what’s going to happen. And when it does, it’s going to be a major economic upheaval, much worse than what we had in ’08 from the perspective of the average American… When you have a currency crisis, when the dollar is collapsing, when the cost of living is going up, and then people start to lose these part-time jobs- you lose your job and the cost of living goes up. This is going to be much worse.


“Gold and Currency Markets Expose U.S. Recovery Myth”
YouTube Video

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Survival And Prosperity
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Christopher E. Hill, Editor

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