Reports from the Economic Front

by Martin Hart-Landsberg

Archive for November, 2008

Economic update

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The economic mess is getting worse:

The state of Oregon is predicting a major revenue shortage—perhaps as much as a billion dollars—and thinking about cuts.  The Oregon Center for Public Policy says it is a revenue problem not a spending problem and suggests targeted ways to boost revenue–like deal with the ever shrinking corporate contribution to our taxes.

Unemployment is rising sharply, but we have a broken system.  For example, “just 37 percent of unemployed Americans are receiving jobless benefits today, down from 42 percent during the 1981-82 recession and 50 percent during the 1974-75 downturn. Americans today receive a maximum of 39 weeks of unemployment benefits, down from 65 weeks in the 1970s. The average weekly benefit is $293.”

And then there is deflation—imagine if prices and salaries all fall while debts remain unchanged.

Written by marty

November 21st, 2008 at 11:33 am

The recession is coming closer

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Labor market trends as reported by the Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch (November 6, 2008):

  • The number of U.S. residents collecting state unemployment benefits reached the highest level in 25 years, rising by 122,000 to a seasonally adjusted 3.84 million in the week ending Oct. 25.
  • The economy has lost jobs for nine consecutive months. So far in 2008, nonfarm payrolls have fallen by 760,000 to 137.3 million.
  • Real hourly compensation fell 1.9% in the quarter and is down 0.9% in the past year, marking the largest annual decline in 13 years.

Keep checking Recession Watch for the latest.

Written by marty

November 6th, 2008 at 2:22 pm