Productivity Report is Strong ahead of October ’09 Jobs Report

Everyone is gearing up for the October Jobs Report that is out tomorrow. It’s fairly significant on several fronts. First the number; I suspect 10% unemployment to be reached, but I also think the unemployment number will be 210,000. Neither of these numbers are good, but they are expected. But some of the older months have been adjusted so the real numbers are even worse. The October and November reports should give an idea of them.

But before we get to tomorrow’s numbers we need to address today’s news. The Productivity number came out and it was very high – 9.5% in the third quarter. That is on top of a rate of 6.9 for the second quarter. Employment costs were low again as well. These two items mean the general working population is generating output very efficiently. These types of surges can only last so long before employee burnout and turnover. The numbers look like the 2003 period.

Year Qtr1 Qtr2 Qtr3 Qtr4 Annual
1999 3.9 0.3 3.3 7.1 3.3
2000 -1.5 9.4 0.1 4.0 3.4
2001 -1.3 7.4 2.5 5.8 2.9
2002 8.8 0.5 3.8 -0.3 4.6
2003 3.7 5.3 9.7 1.5 3.7
2004 0.9 3.7 0.7 0.8 2.8
2005 3.9 -0.6 2.9 -0.4 1.7
2006 2.8 0.6 -1.9 2.4 0.9
2007 1.2 2.8 5.5 2.0 1.8
2008 -0.1 3.1 -0.1 0.8 1.8
2009 0.3 6.9 9.5    

Between he stimulus, health care reform, and green or renewable energies, I feel pretty good about opportunities for economic growth. Developing nations like China, Brazil, and India are also moving the dial. This means the US won’t have to drag the rest of the world up. There are still a lot of “ifs” but discipline seems to be in vogue and economical.

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