Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Expect to see more US monthly jobs numbers like those we just saw for November.
US employers announced plans in November to step up job cuts, with the total exceeding 100,000 for the third month in a row, an industry survey showed.

Employers posted 104,530 cuts in November, up 2.6 percent from the previous month, according to a survey sponsored by international outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas. . . .

"Not only are more companies announcing job cuts, there are more jobs being eliminated in each announcement," said the outplacement firm's chief executive, John Challenger.
You may recall that I blogged on Challenger's lay-off data last month as well. These November figures make three months in a row with layoffs above 100,000. That hasn't happened since early 2002 -- during the depths of the jobs recession and some 18 months before light could be seen at the end of the job destruction tunnel.

January is coming up and is always a big lay-off month. Consider the Conference Board's five-month losing streak on the leading indicators index, too, a streak not seen in nearly ten years. The upshot? We may actually be nearing the US employment peak this cycle -- still some 1% below the previous peak in early 2001.

The world's central banks are trying desperately to prop up the American consumer, but increasingly it looks as if there may be nobody around to prop up.

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