Automatic Job Storm Coming

 

Almost every weekday, some arm of the US government issues some sort of economic statistic. News media and financial analysts review and report it. Then 99.9% of the adult population, and probably 90% of the financial industry, forget all about it. And they’re probably right to do so.

The monthly jobs report isn’t like that. Yes, any single month doesn’t tell us much. Yes, the Labor Department’s methodology has some flaws, both major and minor. But imperfect as it is, the jobs report is our best look at the economy’s pulse. Jobs matter in a visceral way to almost all of us, as you know well if you’ve ever lost one. Almost any survey that asked questions around employment would reveal the angst that many Americans feel about the possibility of losing their jobs.

Right now, automation tops the list of things that might threaten our jobs. Artificial intelligence and robotics technology are rapidly learning to do what human workers do, but better, faster, and cheaper. Continue reading

Deutsche Bank to Cut Workforce by a Quarter: Report

Preparing for rough times ahead:

 

Frankfurt: Deutsche Bank aims to cut roughly 23,000 jobs, or about one quarter of total staff, through layoffs mainly in technology activities and by spinning off its PostBank division, financial sources said on Monday.

That would bring the group’s workforce down to around 75,000 full-time positions under a reorganisation being finalised by new Chief Executive John Cryan, who took control of Germany’s biggest bank in July with the promise to cut costs. Continue reading

Will the US Economy Collapse Soon?

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After a weak first quarter, America’s financials are bloated while the real economy is barely a step away from recession, however, the overall economy is closer to a lengthy stagnation rather than a full-blown demise.

Kristian Rouz – US economy has not fared well in 2015 thus far, staggering and almost nearing a halt in Q1 as the federal government has been gradually reducing its investment in the non-financial sector. Continue reading

J.P. Morgan Chase expected to lay off more than 5,000 by next year

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has begun layoffs that are expected to total more than 5,000 by next year, people familiar with the matter said. Continue reading

Americans Not In Labor Force Hits New Record High: 93,194,000

For the second month in a row, the number of people not in the workforce hit another record high in April, according to jobs data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

April saw the number of people dropping out of the labor force increase from March’s record 93,175,000 to a new record: 93,194,000 people not in the workforce. Continue reading

Building work starts on first all-robot manufacturing plant in China’s Dongguan

Construction work has begun on the first factory in China’s manufacturing hub of Dongguan to use only robots for production, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

A total of 1,000 robots would be introduced at the factory initially, run by Shenzhen Evenwin Precision Technology Co, with the aim of reducing the current workforce of 1,800 by 90 per cent to only about 200, Chen Xingqi, the chairman of the company’s board, was quoted as saying in the report.

Continue reading

Fed and Bank of Japan caused gold crash

My view is that the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan “caused” the gold crash. The rest is noise. The Fed assault began in February when it published a paper warning that the longer quantitative easing continues, the harder it will be for the bank to extricate itself.

The report was co-written by former Fed governor Frederic Mishkin, often deemed Ben Bernanke’s “alter ego”. It said the Fed’s capital base could be wiped out “several times” once borrowing costs climb. The window will start shutting by 2014, with trouble then compounding at a “dramatic” pace.

This was a shock. It suggested that the Fed has lost its nerve, and will think long and hard before launching a fresh blitz of money if growth falters. Continue reading

Collapsing Europe is in crisis and the U.S. bailout option, for once, is not available

Despite the fact that Europe is in the Northern Hemisphere, the downward swirl of the euro this month took a reverse direction and started going left — counterclockwise. Maybe it is the first part of the Mayan prediction that gravity will fail later this year and we will all go flying off into space. But certainly it indicates that the euro crisis is still very much with us — and deepening. Political developments further diminish chances for a settlement — if attainable at all — without a breakup, perhaps of the European Union itself and not just the countries using the euro.

The erosion of the Schengen Agreement, which permitted free movement within the EU, is an important indicator of how far the political situation has deteriorated. Opposition to free movement as a fundamental principle of European integration is fueled by rising unemployment, growing xenophobia, as well as legitimate concern that Western Europe will continue to be flooded with illegal immigrants from North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

With a quarter of Spain’s workforce unemployed — approaching 50 percent among younger workers — providing a tough test for the conservative government’s belt-tightening, the rating agencies now call Madrid an increasingly bad risk, raising the cost of refinancing debt. (Much of that debt was created by regional governments to which the former ruling Socialists gave free rein.) With Spain representing almost 5 percent of the EU’s gross domestic product, a bailout is beyond the present capacity of the European Central Bank to finance.

Socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande — if he wins the French runoff election — poses yet another threat, unless he could forget his campaign promises to blow his nation’s budget with new entitlements. A France headed back into higher subsidies, more protectionism and more voter-purchasing welfare would be a crushing blow for the European unification that Paris had done so much to sponsor since World War II.

The U.S., always the essential midwife to postwar European reconstruction, stability and prosperity, is turning inward in one of its most bitterly fought presidential contests in generations. Spain’s role as the second-largest foreign investor in Latin America after the U.S. has implications for American exports — just one small example of the bad news for the American economy as Europe’s troubles deepen.

The Obama administration’s strategy of “leading from behind” is less than adequate to help the EU, the world’s largest economy, in its hour of crisis. But facing its own domestic economic problems in an acute stage, even a Romney administration would, at least early on, have to give European issues lower priority — no matter how much they would impinge on the U.S. economy and American security.

 

Full article: Collapsing Europe is in crisis and the U.S. bailout option, for once, is not available (World Tribune)

Making 9 Million Jobless “Vanish”: How The Government Manipulates Unemployment Statistics

When we look at broad measures of jobs and population, then the beginning of 2012 was one of the worst months in US history, with a total of 2.3 million people losing jobs or leaving the workforce in a single month. Yet, the official unemployment rate showed a decline from 8.5% to 8.3% in January – and was such cheering news that it set off a stock rally.

How can there be such a stark contrast between the cheerful surface and an underlying reality that is getting worse?

The true unemployment picture is hidden by essentially splitting jobless Americans up and putting them inside one of three different “boxes”: the official unemployment box, the full unemployment box, and the most obscure box, the workforce participation rate box.

Full article: Making 9 Million Jobless “Vanish”: How The Government Manipulates Unemployment Statistics (Financial Sense Online)