Thursday, December 03, 2009

Job Picture: Signs of Improvement

New reports have emerged showing a slight improvement in the country’s job loss problem. According to Automatic Data Processing – a payroll-processing firm – private job losses totaled 169,000 in November. This represents the eighth month in a row that job losses have fallen from the month before according to CNN.

"Looking forward, we expect several months of declines," said Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, in a conference call. "But the losses will get smaller and we should see the first positive number in February's data."

The U.S. economy will not return to "full employment," defined as 5% unemployment, until as late as 2014, Prakken said.

Prakken also addressed the jobs forum slated for Thursday, in which President Obama will meet with labor representatives, financial experts and other business leaders to discuss the continued problems with unemployment.

"There are two ways you can go: hope more government spending translates to employment, or give tax incentives for hiring," Prakken said.

Both options are tricky, Prakken said, and "he's not a huge fan" of either avenue because to improve the labor market most of the hiring will have to be in the private sector.

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