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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

November 4, 2009 at 10:00 AM

It’s not just the economy, stupid, it’s job creation

Top of the News: Any celebration over the ADP report showing the economy lost “only” 203,000 jobs last month is premature. Remember, we need to create around 125,000 net new jobs a month just to keep up with the natural growth of the workforce.

More importantly, the holiday layoff season — when companies clear their year-end books and start serious job cutting — is only beginning. Microsoft reportedly is making 800 job cuts worldwide today. Nokia Siemens said Tuesday it was eliminating 5,700 positions. And on it goes.

With unemployment nationally closing in on 10 percent, this chart shows how the pain has grown and spread since 2004. The hotspots: Michigan, California and the Southwest, Florida and much of the Southeast, as well as Oregon. If polling results in New Jersey and Virginia are to be believed, voters tilted to change — the GOP candidates — largely because of economic concerns.

Rutgers economists say it could be 2017 before we recover the lost jobs. Take the poll after the jump and give your opinion.

When will the job market get better(surveys)

The Midweek Briefing: UC Berkeley Professor Brad DeLong has a provocative essay on what might have happened “if governments had washed their hands of the financial crisis.” Surveys show most people believe the rescue merely helped further enrich the bankers.

–New bubble alerts come from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The Wall Street Journal reports of mounting concerns that China’s aggressive stimulus is creating an asset bubble in real estate, currency and stocks.

–Check out this site for stuff that would scare bears. For example, newsletter publisher Marc Faber, who advised some short-term dabbling in the market earlier this year, warned his subscribers of “probably a total collapse in the second half of the year when it becomes clear that the economy is a total disaster.”

–An interesting article on revamping DARPA comes from the Harvard Business Review. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has played a vital role in America’s tech sector, but its spending for IT research was drastically cut under the Bush administration.

Today’s Econ Haiku:

Job cuts 2.0

It’s a Microsoft release

We’d rather not have

Comments | More in Jobs/Unemployment, Microsoft, Midweek Economic Briefing

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