A year ago is when we first started to see the carnage with the job situation. Most of 2008 had losses, but they were relatively manageable (usually losses in the mid 100K range). But the November 2008 numbers came out and showed a ramp up.
I decided at the time to take a stab in the dark and do a prediction of the labor situation for 2009. Here is my entry from a year ago today:
Here is a quick chart of how things have progressed over the last two years in regards to unemployment – the blue line that is. I included the red line to emphasize my viewpoint on the next few quarters. First,I’ll say I’m actually not as optimistic as the chart indicates. But I have a good feeling about the unemployment shape.
Here is my rational for a deep unemployment situation, but not a drawn out one:
1) Transformation Efficiency. The method for transformation is much more efficient than it once was. Business within the US is inconstant fear. Because of that most companies have both hiring and layoff systems in wait. So when a company needs to activate one or the other the time to get the machine moving is very small. Plus people can acquire skills faster than ever before.
2) Impatience! No one seems to be talking about the most valued resource in the US =TIME! The greed that caused many investors to abandon long term investing strategies (why wait 10 years for 9% return when I can leverage everything for 20% now) will very soon pull the US out of the situation. Its as simple as there are just to many deals to be had out there right now…
As you can see, I was way too optimistic. But these numbers (they were revised to be even worse than originally reported) are completely outside the line of history. Plus what I was trying to get across was more the shape. It so far is a V-shape, not an L or U. The V is very deep.
Here is a revised view of what I thought and what happened.