THE JOBLESS – AT 10:11 A.M. ET: Unemployment benefit claims numbers are released on Thursday morning. Today's numbers show a slight drop, but they are hardly encouraging. From Bloomberg:
Fewer Americans than forecast filed claims for unemployment insurance last week as the effects of Hurricane Sandy started to show up.
Applications for jobless benefits fell by 8,000 to 355,000 in the week ended Nov. 3, the Labor Department said today in Washington. One state said the loss of electricity due to the storm suppressed filings, while others said workers who lost their jobs as a result of the weather were starting to apply, a Labor Department spokesman said as the data were released to the press.
It may take three to four weeks to see the full impact, the spokesman said, which indicates claims may jump back in coming weeks as more storm-related applications begin to be processed. A Labor Department report last week showed the economy added more jobs than projected in October and the unemployment rate rose as hundreds of thousands of Americans rejoined the job search as prospects improved.
“When you see bad weather, there’s usually a drop in claims, and then you typically see a rebound in the next few weeks,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James & Associates Inc. in St. Petersburg, Florida, who correctly forecast the number of initial filings. “Underneath the surface, job destruction has been trending very low. Layoffs aren’t the problem -- it’s the relatively weak pace of job creation.”
Layoffs aren't the problem? Consider this:
Boeing announced a major restructuring of its defense division on Wednesday that will cut 30 percent of management jobs from 2010 levels, close facilities in California and consolidate several business units to cut costs.
The company told employees about the changes on Wednesday, in a memo obtained by Reuters and confirmed by Boeing.
Boeing, the Pentagon's second-largest supplier, said the changes were the latest step in an affordability drive that has already reduced the company's costs by $2.2 billion since 2010, according to the memo.
The measures come as U.S. weapons makers are under pressure to cut costs and preserve profit margins amid dwindling defense spending in the U.S.
The Obama defense cuts are kicking in. They will weaken this country both militarily and economically.
In a message to employees, Dennis Muilenburg, chief executive of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, said the company aimed to cut costs by an additional $1.6 billion from 2013 through 2015.
"We are raising the bar higher because our market challenges and opportunities require it, and our customers' needs demand it," Muilenburg said.
COMMENT: The election is over and we're back in the real world. The economy is in awful shape. Whatever recovery we have is slow and wavering. Many job creators are deeply discouraged about the election results and what those results mean for them. There is little temptation to take risks or hire people.
I suspect a part of the electorate will start to feel buyers's remorse pretty soon.
November 8, 2012