Friday, September 12, 2014

The next recession may be starting now

Well, it looks as if the next downturn may be already beginning. There has been a perceptible slowdown in worldwide manufacturing and that is translating itself into visible numbers.  Gas, oil and copper prices falling. And employment numbers weakening (or down, depending on which numbers you look at).
Since December 2012, private industries paying up to about $14.50 an hour have added, on net, 972,000 nonsupervisory jobs with an average workweek of a mere 17.7 hours, an IBD analysis finds.
That doesn't mean new employees are being hired for such few hours. Rather, it reflects a combination of reduced hours in existing jobs and short workweeks for newly created jobs.
Overall, in these low-wage industries which employ 30 million rank-and-file workers, the average workweek shrank to 27.3 hours per week in July, an IBD analysis shows. That's the shortest workweek on record, except for this past February, when mid-month blizzards wreaked havoc during the Bureau of Labor Statistics survey week.
The conventional wisdom among economists is that there's been no apparent shift to part-time work and that ObamaCare's employer mandate hasn't led to shorter workweeks.
But shorter hours clocked by nonmanagers in low-wage industries are being obscured because the rest of the workforce is now clocking a longer average workweek than even before the recession started.
For low-wage industry workers, on the other hand, the recovery in the workweek from a then-record low 27.5 hours in mid-2009 began to reverse in the latter half of 2012, and it's been pretty much all downhill since then.
Evidence points to ObamaCare as an important factor in the shrinking workweek.

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 I am a bit disappointed we didn't get that year of prosperity I forecast last year, but it looks as though we may be in for a rough time in the next few years.

There are some good tidbits.  Or maybe "not so bad" tidbits.  With prices down, if you do have a job, there is no time like the present to be stocking up on things you will need to ride out the next few years.  Of course, if you are one of the millions who have fallen victim to Obama's policies and are now out of work, you will be struggling just to survive in the not too distant future.

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