Record Number of U.S. Jobless Seen Losing Benefits

Discussion in 'Economics' started by omcate, Jan 30, 2004.

  1. cwjcntr


    I have to agree. Before finding a couple of computer contract positions to keep me afloat while I try to find a new job, I was in the same boat. You send out HUNDREDS of resumes, to ALL KINDS of jobs, some that you're qualified for, and even some that you may be "overqualified" for, and nothing.

    Now, I'm lucky enough to be able to pitz and putz around trading, it puts food on the table and keeps the lights on, and keeps my liquor cabinet stocked.

    Ya know, I wouldn't mind starting out as the equivalent of a SECRETARY in a trading firm. But, still nothing. Can't say i'm not trying, cause, 300 resumes later, I'd say that's some effort. :D

    #11     Jan 30, 2004
  2. So, what next? What are these people going to do? Republicans 3-dose tax refund won't even apply to 'em. No job. No nothing. What to do?
    #12     Jan 30, 2004
  3. adonos


    I sure know the feeling on that one. I send resumes and cover letters out to dozens of places every day and hardly ever get a real response. But, I do get plenty of automated "Thanks for your resume!" responses.

    I get the feeling that a lot of these trading firms are sort of good-ole-boy networks which makes it pretty hard for outsiders to get in.

    Trading has been bad for me lately... my methods that have backtested well have not been working all that well lately. But, all methods have losing days, so I will keep trying.

    Anyway, its quite frustrating that I can put together a 1 million transistor chip, but cant even get a job doing that or even maintaining a web page.

    #13     Jan 30, 2004
  4. simstim


    to make it even worse, i would say from my experience that most of the jobs that are listed directly from a company (not a hiring firm) have pretty much already been filled internally within that company, but the company just posts it to see what kind of interest it brings in. the company i work for just posted 10 positions at the beginning of the year, but 8 have already been filled by people internally that are just transferring departments, and the old positions they were at are not going to be replaced.

    the only advice i can give people is to really try to develop contacts and either know people inside a company somehow, if youre just sending out resumes hoping to get lucky it's going to be very difficult. good luck!
    #14     Jan 30, 2004
  5. This articles makes it too easy . Just become self employed. But doing what? Selling what goods and services?

    I guess one has to be creative in this downturn...

    Saturday January 31, 8:39 am ET
    By Andrea Hopkins

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - According to the most widely accepted measure of U.S. employment, public-speaking coach and consultant LeeAundra Temescu was not among the 130 million Americans who had a job in 2003.

    But don't try telling her that.

    "Was I working?" the Los Angeles resident said. "In terms of speaking and writing and marketing and doing all that sort of stuff -- yeah, I was working."

    Because she is one of more than 15 million self-employed workers in the United States, Temescu is on nobody's payroll -- and thus does not show up on the Labor Department's employer survey used each month to assess the strength of the job market.

    The failure of the survey to count independent contractors has come under fire by President Bush's economic team and some analysts, who argue it underestimates job growth by ignoring one of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy.

    "There is a big error factor in those numbers," Treasury Secretary John Snow said after Labor reported a scant 1,000 rise in December payrolls. "I think they may well have understated (job growth), and we will see a restatement in the future."

    A rise in self-employed and other nonpayroll workers would bolster the argument of Bush supporters that the "jobless" nature of America's recovery has been exaggerated.


    While outsourcing is not new, a rise in self-employed contractors could explain the slow rebound in employment as counted by the payrolls survey, which shows 2.3 million jobs have been lost since Bush took office in January 2001.

    For the same period, a smaller study of households, based on the Current Population Survey, shows a 700,000 rise in employment -- a seemingly contradictory sign that has fueled Republican skepticism about the accuracy of the bleaker payrolls data.

    According to the Current Population Survey, the number of self-employed Americans surged 3.9 percent in the last three years, far outstripping a 0.6 percent rise in overall employment.

    But experts also take issue with the household survey, saying it is too small, too volatile and possibly overstates population growth. Moreover, it registers a worker as employed even if he or she works only one hour in the survey week.

    Federal Reserve Governor Ben Bernanke said the household survey's accuracy could also suffer if individuals misunderstand the questions "or for one reason or another misreport their own labor market status or that of other members of the household."

    Self-employed consultant Temescu agrees. For much of 2003, she was one of 60,000 surveyed for the household report. Trying to categorize herself as "employed" or "unemployed" was tough in a week when she had no paying clients but was busy marketing. And she said the Census Bureau questioners were just as confused about her employment status.

    "There were a lot of times when I'd give an answer and they'd go 'Oh, I don't have a code for that'," she recalled. "It was kind disconcerting to ... have to give answers that I know weren't accurate because I was constrained by the nature of the questionnaire."


    As president of SurePayroll, the fifth-largest U.S. payroll services provider, Michael Alter has seen a definite shift away from the traditional employer-employee relationships captured by the payroll survey.

    Last year, payments by his small business clients to independent contractors surged 12 percent -- and Alter himself says he is using more contract workers.

    "I personally believe there has been a structural change," he said. "You can get people who have very specialized skills for a very reasonable price, and you don't have to put them on staff full-time."

    Economist Joel Naroff believes the outsourcing trend, which took off in the 1990s, is here to stay.

    "Businesses have been looking to temporary help or outsourcing to lower their employment -- and therefore their health care and pension and other responsibilities," he said.

    Government data show employment costs rose 3.8 percent in 2003. Outsourcing work to a self-employed contractor cuts those costs by up to a third -- because health care, pensions and other benefits make up 30 percent of total compensation.

    "Clearly these kind of huge increases in health care costs encourage businesses to move toward temporary help, outsourcing, or setting people up as consultants," Naroff said. "It's clearly getting stronger."

    Meanwhile, Temescu shrugs off the government's inability to accurately count her employment and says the benefits of her situation are worth the risks involved.

    "The alternative of working as a salaried worker in an organization is even more unpalatable," Temescu said. "There is just something about working for myself -- I really, truly do love what I do."
    #15     Jan 31, 2004
  6. Yes, dems are obsolete liars. Republians rule. Stocks are serverly undervalued due to the misleading payroll numbers. 100% up room to go.
    #16     Jan 31, 2004
  7. What a bunch of bull. She is obviously not making any money, she is trying out of desperation something different and they are using her situation to deceive people why job report numbers are so ugly. Hopefully she'll succeed, but her chances are the same as with any other startup - 1 out of 10.

    The job statistics has been around for years and it has always been fine, now that the numbers are not good suddenly they want to change the statistics. How about that, everyday if an S&P 500 stock goes down, we throw it out of the index and replace it with another stock which went up that day. S&P won`t have a single down day ever.

    The self-employed and startup jobs have always been created and never made it into the labor statistics. They are supposed to complement, not replace 250K corporate jobs which the country requires just to keep up with growth of population.
    #17     Jan 31, 2004
  8. cdbern



    (This is worth reading. It is short and to the point.)

    Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions during election years.

    Our Senators and Congresswomen do not pay into Social Security and, of course, they do not collect from it.

    You see, Social Security benefits were not suitable for persons of their rare elevation in society. They felt they should have a special plan for themselves. So, many years ago they voted in their own benefit plan.

    In more recent years, no congressperson has felt the need to change it. After all, it is a great plan.

    For all practical purposes their plan works like this:

    When they retire, they continue to draw the same pay until they die.

    Except it may increase from time to time for cost of living adjustments.

    For example, former Senator Byrd and Congressman White and their wives may expect to draw $7,800,000.00 (that's Seven Million, Eight-Hundred Thousand Dollars), with their wives drawing $275,000.00 during the last years of their lives.

    This is calculated on an average life span for each of those two Dignitaries.

    Younger Dignitaries who retire at an early age, will receive much more during the rest of their lives.

    Their cost for this excellent plan is $0.00. NADA....ZILCH....

    This little perk they voted for themselves is free to them. You and I pick up the tab for this plan. The funds for this fine retirement plan come directly from the General Funds;


    From our own Social Security Plan, which you and I pay (or have paid) into, -every payday until we retire (which amount is matched by our employer)- we can expect to get an average of $1,000 per month after retirement.

    Or, in other words, we would have to collect our average of $1,000 monthly benefits for 68 years and one (1) month to equal Senator Bill Bradley's benefits!

    Social Security could be very good if only one small change were made.

    That change would be to jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan from under the Senators and Congressmen Put them into the Social Security plan with the rest of us ... then sit back and watch how fast they would fix it.

    If enough people receive this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe good changes will evolve.
    #18     Jan 31, 2004
  9. Yup, just another example of the real thieves getting away with it (so far), and you have to serve only a single term. That's okay - they're well on their way to bringing the Big House down.
    #19     Jan 31, 2004
  10. Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- When economic growth of 4 percent is a disappointment, we've come a long way, baby.

    The Commerce Department reported today that gross domestic product rose at a 4 percent annualized rate in the fourth quarter, less than half the third quarter's 8.2 percent pace.

    All the broad components of GDP made a positive contribution to growth last quarter, a sign the expansion is broadening from a narrow consumer/housing-led affair to one that is hitting on all cylinders.

    Starting with the biggest contributors, consumer spending added 1.84 percentage point to GDP growth last quarter; business fixed-investment, 1.23 percentage point; inventories, 0.61 percentage point; residential investment, 0.54 percentage point; net exports, 0.19 percentage point; and government spending, 0.16 percentage point.

    Economists had been looking for growth of 5 percent. Where they went wrong was in overestimating inventory accumulation, based on the monthly reports (businesses increased stocks by $6.1 billion compared with a $9.1 billion decline in the third quarter), and government spending, which rose 0.8 percent, with federal spending up 0.7 percent.

    ``If you are going to miss, you want to miss in those categories,'' says Joe Carson, head of global economic research at Alliance Capital Management. ``You know the government is going to spend what's been authorized. And inventory growth ultimately matches final sales growth.''

    Slow to Build

    Currently the gap between the two is among the widest on record.

    Companies' apparent caution about accumulating inventories doesn't jibe with business surveys suggesting stocks are too lean. The Institute for Supply Management asks manufacturers every month whether their customers have enough inventories. Every month, the reply is a resounding ``no.'' (That begs the question, enough for what?)

    A December survey by the National Federation of Independent Business, a trade group representing small businesses, showed plans to add to inventories surging to ``one of the highest levels in years.''

    The same survey showed strong capital spending plans, with the index reading of 38 slightly below the all-time high of 41 in 1999.

    With strong demand -- real final sales, or GDP less inventories, rose 3.4 percent last quarter -- coming from all quarters, including exports (real exports rose 19.1 percent in the fourth quarter), inventories will eventually provide their normal kicker to the business cycle.

    Not Too Shabby

    Put in perspective, real GDP ``grew 6 percent in the second half with no contribution from inventories and defense spending,'' Carson says.

    The Commerce Department won't report its measure of economic profits until March (except for the fourth quarter, profits are reported with the first GDP revision). The imputed number is about $1.18 trillion, which would represent an increase of 26 percent from a year ago, based on Carson's calculations.

    ``I use the profits number as guidance for the GDP revision,'' Carson says.

    Because he thinks actual profits are bigger, he expects GDP to be revised up accordingly.

    Even if there's no forthcoming revision to GDP in February and March, today's weaker-than-expected report doesn't signal slower growth ahead.

    Less Now, More Later

    ``Given that the shortfall in the fourth quarter was mainly in inventories, this report is relatively positive in its implication for growth in the next quarter or two,'' says Henry Willmore, chief U.S. economist at Barclays Capital Group. Willmore expects first-half growth of 4.75 percent.

    If profitability is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for investment, companies have good material to work with. Carson estimates that free cash flow (cash flow from operations minus money spent on capital expenditures) hit a record $375 billion in the fourth quarter.

    Business fixed-investment rose 8.1 percent last quarter, with the 10 percent increase in purchases of equipment and software more than offsetting the 3 percent decline in structures, which lag the economic cycle.

    Investment in equipment and software has been positive for seven consecutive quarters. That follows a cumulative decline from 2000 to 2002 that was the largest since 1958, according to Steven Wieting, senior economist at Citigroup Inc.

    The business sector has gone through wrenching adjustments in the past few years and seems to have restored itself to profitability.

    So much so that one of these days, companies will want to hire a few folks to help produce what they're selling.

    Last Updated: January 30, 2004 13:50 EST
    #20     Jan 31, 2004