Friday, July 31, 2009

Manpower debt rating under review

"NEW YORK (AP) -- Moody's Investors Service on Monday placed the Baa2 long-term debt rating of Manpower Inc. under review for possible downgrade, saying the staffing company's credit could be weakened by declining profitability and revenue.

Moody's rating outlook on Manpower has been negative since March 9.

Moody's said it expects "sharp year-over-year declines in revenue and profitability during the remainder of 2009, leading to substantial erosion" in Manpower's leverage and credit strength.

In addition, Moody's said it expects labor market conditions will remain difficult in key markets in Western Europe in 2010.

"Accordingly, a rapid rebound in demand for temporary and permanent recruitment services is unlikely in the near term," the ratings agency said.

Manpower did not immediately return a call seeking comment."

I am not surprised at this. Manpower has been trying to expand globally, and has a very large headcount to content with. I've been voicing my opinion that they do need to reduce headcount amid the large decline in their revenue. On a price to sales valuation they seem cheap, however as the revenue continues to decline this will begin to change.

  • They still have valuation of over 65x earnings. vs. 26.27x for its peer group.
  • Price to Projected Earnings are at 38.32 vs. 65.99 for the peer group. Manpower is trading at a heavy preminum compared to its peers.
  • Earnings growth is -86.50% vs. peers at -53.30%. Again, man has been getting slammed hard on its decline in revenue.
  • Sales growth is -20.33 vs. -0.81 for its peers. With both earnings and sales at such a steep decline it makes one wonder why this is trading at such a premium to its peers.
    And a very high PEG ratio.

    This debt matter doesn't help their cause as they will need to micro manage their cash flow to par down this debt. Although, it is not a near term cause for concern, it doesn't help their valuation to be carrying such high levels of debt (13.2% long term debt), amid their declining revenue.

    I would avoid MAN at this time, and take a look at RHI if you are worried about Manpower's debt level. RHI has under two million dollars in debt and holds over three hundred sixty million in cash. Until Manpower takes a very proactive approach to slashing headcount, and force retirement on a global scale, Manpower continues to look overvalued to its peers.

According to some price projections low 40's should be a preminum to it's high 20's to low 30's book value.

Silicon Valley Unemployment Skyrockets

So with the "green shoots" producing a -1.0% GDP this recent quarter. Let's take a gander at unemployment in the America's tech hub. With unemployment rising above levels during the this recession has caused a major destruction of wealth. With numerous layoffs by the tech giants, there are risks that remain in this recovery. A jobless growth may still be on the horizon until the private sector picks up.
Governments maybe less incline to boost the economy through continued stimulus packages.

Handbook for the unemployed

This is a good site for those that are unemployed and need to gather themselves in these difficult times.

GDP First Quarter Revised Down

"U.S. Q1 GDP revised down 6.4% vs -5.5 prev est"

So this morning revision of the United States GDP confirms the drastic decline to the America economy. Consumer spending also was down more then expected during the Q1.

The initial GDP report of -1.0 for the Q2 seems more favorable then expected. However, if this gets revised again, it may not meet the -1.5% that was projected by most economist.

This recession will continue to be drawn out till demand comes back influx with the global economy. Continue to look at labour increasing only when projects, and demand warrant it. Earnings continue to be driven through cost cutting measures rather then revenue growth for most companies.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

United States Joblessness Rises from May-June

"More than 90 percent of the nation's largest metropolitan areas saw their unemployment rates climb in June from the previous month.

The Labor Department does not provide seasonally adjusted metro area unemployment data. It does adjust the national unemployment rate for seasonal factors. The U.S. jobless rate, which hit 9.5 percent in June, is expected to rise to 9.7 percent when the department reports the July rate next week.

Tuscaloosa, Ala., home to the University of Alabama, suffered the biggest monthly increase in unemployment from May to June. Its jobless rate jumped to 12.5 percent in June, up 3.8 percentage points."

Source: Yahoo

Continued weakness in the labour markets means reduced need for staffing. Continue to watch this situation as it may not recover in the near term, and longer term growth seems very painful.

Randstad Earnings

"AMSTERDAM (AP) -- Randstad NV, the world's second-largest temporary staffing services company, said Tuesday second quarter profit fell 89 percent as many companies are looking to cut expenses and reduce staff during the downturn.

Net profit was euro10 million ($14.2 million), down from euro94.1 million a year ago. Sales fell 33 percent to euro2.99 billion.

The year-ago figures were reported as if Randstad had owned Vedior NV -- which it acquired for euro3.5 billion in May 2008 -- for the whole second quarter in both years.

The Vedior buy made Randstad the second largest staffing company behind Adecco SA of Switzerland and ahead of Manpower Inc. of the U.S.

"The U.S. staffing ... as well as our main European markets clearly show some stabilization" when compared with the first quarter of 2009, Chief Executive Ben Noteboom said in a statement.

But demand for high-cost professional workers was weak and "on balance it is too early to declare a beginning of recovery," he said."


Cost cutting continues to be profound. And as I said it is too early in prior earnings announcements by Randstad's competitors such as Manpower, and Adecco, and Robert Half International that a possible double bottom may be present in this economy. We may enter a period of stablization then another down cycle as this stimulus wears off. There has already been calls for another round of stimulus. This not only increases the risk of inflation, and further strain in governmental budgets.

So I continue to be bearish in employment till credit markets become more open to small businesses which generate most of the tax revenue for the economy. Thus creates additional spending and adds to the workforce. At this time there is a limited need for companies such as Randstad, Manpower and Adecco, and Robert Half International especially for higher end workforce.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

S&P 500 Sales Decline

"According to Deutsche Bank's calculations, 82% of the S&P 500 companies to report so far have beaten second-quarter earnings expectations. The snag is that only 50% have beaten sales targets.

For the moment, earnings are only being held up by costs shrinking fast alongside revenue. For a true recovery, sales need to start growing, too. Rising unemployment may make that harder to achieve."

I've been pointing out that a large number of companies have been "beating" the estimates through staff reductions and forced retirement comps. This is not an environment where there is a clear picture on the economy; let along staffing needs. As confidence as slowly risen so the risk carry trade. Until there is a fundamental shift in growth and the economy, consumers will continue to be quite thrifty. That declines the need for further staffing. While staffing may enter bare bones levels, with more current employees working more hours as work flow improves. However, new hires face a challenging economy with very little head ways into the second half point.

Thus continued weakness in firms such as Manpower, Adecco, and Robert Half International will continue as this financial bubble continues to unwind.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The New Joblessness

"The Federal Reserve now expects unemployment to surpass 10 percent (the postwar high was 10.8 percent in 1982). By almost every other measure, ours is already the worst job environment since the Great Depression. The economy has shed 6.5 million jobs — nearly 5 percent of the total, far outstripping the 3 percent that were lost in the early ’80s. Economists fear that even when the economy turns around, the job market will be stagnant. Keith Hall, the commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sums it up as “an ugly picture out there.”

Not only are firms laying off redundant workers, but they seem to be cutting into the bone. Hall says the absence of hoarding means that firms do not expect business to pick up soon. This is supported by other evidence, like a doubling in the number of involuntary part-time workers (there are nine million of them) and the shrinking workweek, now 33 hours — the shortest ever recorded. Presumably, before companies start to rehire laid-off workers, they will ask their current employees to work more.

It’s hard to give a definitive explanation for this trend, but among the reasons are a decline in innovation in the aftermath of the tech boom, leading to fewer new businesses, and the aging of the population. More people have dropped out of the work force, and a smaller work force tends to dampen job totals. The percentage of adults who are working has fallen from 64 at the end of the Clinton era to only 59.5 now."


Consumer sentiment drops in July

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- U.S. consumer sentiment fell in July, according to a survey released Friday by the University of Michigan and Reuters, dragged down by a big drop in expectations about the economy.

Sentiment rose to a revised 66.0 from a reading of 64.6 in early July, but was down from the June reading of 70.8.

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch were expecting consumer sentiment to rise slightly to 65.5.

Analysts said the report highlights depressed levels of confidence as well as likely slow growth ahead.

"The July drop-back in confidence at still-depressed levels highlights the anemic pace of growth that appears likely as we enter the early quarters of the recovery," wrote Mike Englund of Action Economics in an email.

"While off the lows that were recorded when panic and paralysis were the order of the day, this measure of consumer sentiment nonetheless remains severely depressed," wrote Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist of MFR, Inc., in an email.

Treasury prices remained lower Friday, pushing yields up, after the final reading of the index was released.

Both the current conditions and expectations readings fell in July, the survey found. Expectations plummeted to 63.2 from 69.2, while the current conditions number dropped to 70.5 from 73.2 in June.

The weaker expectations number is a sign of consumer worry about the economy, although it is up from 53.5 back in March.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

United States P/E Earnings

As the market continues its uphill climb, the market has returned back to fair value. Anything over may face large volatility. The market may need to fill some support levels or else this upwards momentum becomes really out of hand. Although the worst maybe behind us there are plenty of issues that needs further observation before we can say that the financial markets won't collapse again.

It Isn't Always a Job Behind an Online Job Posting

"If you're launching an online job hunt for the first time in a while; take caution. What may look like an ad for employment may lead to something entirely different, like a hard sell for career services or job-training manuals. Or worse, it might be a plan by identity thieves to get you to share sensitive personal information via "phishing" expeditions. Some of the job postings -- sometimes for positions long filled -- also could be from recruiting agencies looking to collect résumés.

The problem of job postings that aren't what they seem is adding to the frustrations of the more than two million recently laid-off workers who are competing for an increasingly limited number of jobs. The good news is that there are several tip-offs that indicate an ad is likely to lead you down the wrong path. And as long as you don't give out any private data, getting duped into responding to a fruitless job ad will likely only cost you time and energy."


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Up, down or back to front in Australia

"THE worst is not behind us. The worst of the global financial crisis has passed and sharemarkets have bounced on signs that the global economic recession is stabilising. But the worst for the Australian economy will come over the next six to nine months as a slump in export prices hits company profits, unemployment rises and consumer spending is checked by a household income squeeze."

I sort of figured that sooner or later all the cash handouts will lead to a decline in spending for future generations. Although, their debt to gdp is low compared to other countries they are very focused on commodities, tourism, financing, and construction. Without these sectors they are as empty in terms of productivity as any developed nation.

So I welcome any reform, especially with the very expensive superannuation plans in Australia. It is a good plan during boom years however with the boom and bust cycle that we have been facing, it can leave a lot of desired effects if there are more busts in the future.


Rebalancing global growth: A long way to go

"Governments can prop up economies temporarily, but rising budget deficits are not a route to sustainable growth. Eventually burgeoning debt will limit the room for fiscal manoeuvre, and politicians may balk at renewed stimulus long before then. Worries about the budget deficit are already weighing on political debate in WashingtonA solid global recovery demands healthy and balanced growth in private demand. Unfortunately, that still seems far off. "

And an interesting comment from "sebouh":

"Indeed a long way to go

This week the number of Americans filing for jobless benefits rose by 30,000 in the week ended July 18, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The total for the week was 554,000With nearly 15 million peolpe out of work, according the official figures, and 6.5 million jobs having been eliminated since the recession begain in December of 2007, this week's initial claims report spells increasing social misery for millions of workers.Wall Street, however, responded to the jobless claims report, along with better-then-expected corporate earnings and a slight increase in June existing home sales, by pushing Dow Jones Industrial Average up 188 points, ending the day above the 9000 mark for the first time since last November.The diverging fortunes of workers and corporate elite are the result of ruthless cost-cutting by big business, which is taking advantage of the recession to slash jobs and wages and drive up productivity worldwide. The banks and big corporations are being abetted by the policies of the Obama administration.In other words, this disperity does not lead to healthy recovery prospect and this further widens the risk for another round of economic contraction.

It is this increased expoitation of workers and the prospect of a permanent reduction in wages and benefits that Wall Street is celebrating. The implications for the working class are nothing short of catastrophic.Meanwhile the banks, which have benefited from hundreds of billions in bailout cash and trillions more in other subsidies, at taxpayer expense,are flaunting their good fortune by ramping up salaries and bonuses to levels high or higher than those prevailed before last year's crash.Moreover, according to Washington Post reported Thursday,"So far top six US banks have set aside 74 billion USD to pay their employees, up from 60 billion USD in the corresponding period last year." As the newspaper points out, this windfall will go disproportionately to top executives and traders, in the form of multi-million dollar compensation packages.

To conclude my statement, the world economy is showing some tentative signs of economic recovery due to massive government stimulus packages and bailouts in most developed nations. These government measures, however, will be "unsustainable" in the long run.In addition, the consumer demand will not come back as unemployment is continuously on the rise in most developed and developing countries."


Friday, July 24, 2009

No jobs, no growth

"It might take years for the labor market to fully recover as well: Most members of the Federal Open Market Committee said they expected it "to take five or six years" to bring the unemployment rate down to its long-run potential of around 5%.

Job losses have slowed, but they haven't stopped. The unemployment rate is expected to peak near 11%, according to Roubini. With a current jobless rate of 9.5%, there are now nearly six unemployed people for every job opening. For the first time since the Depression, most of those who are unemployed have lost their jobs permanently.

With so much competition for jobs, wages are dropping. The total wage bill for private industry has fallen at a nearly 5% annual rate over the past six months, the largest decline in the 50 years those data have been kept.

The only thing adding to income growth right now is government transfers, either from automatic stabilizers such as unemployment insurance or from the tax cuts in the stimulus package. Income from private sources declined in all 50 states during the first quarter.
The stimulus has now ramped up. While more money will be coming from Washington each month, the level won't increase. Economist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research figures we need $1 trillion in extra stimulus per year to drive the employment back to 5%, but we're getting only about a third of that.

The worst of the economic crisis is now behind us, but that doesn't mean the economy is all fixed."


Six Mistakes Job Seekers Make

"They're "not taking time to think about strategy," Kay said. "They're merely reacting."

These are really interesting times. In a ultra competitive hiring environment; mistakes are made from time to time. These are six mistakes to think about before you become ultra aggressive with your job searching.


I find that the United States Labor Market web site a good source of data for those that want to know what are the growth engines going forward in this economy.


Manpower 3Q Employment Outlook Survey

Manpower has their employment outlook survey up for the 3rd Quarter.

- Some strengths at a mostly low destiny workforce.
- Still a large number of industrial nations facing challenging workforce hires going forward.
- In addition to problems associated with that tepid hiring and continued weak consumer demand it is hard to be overly bullish on employment in general.

Most of the charts show that expectations of growth has not resumed to growth for most nations besides India, Taiwan and Singapore.

There will continue to be a push for more stimulus for the worldwide economies. However, during the last down turn there was a four year period before "full employment" resumed. I still find it hard to believe that all the toxic assets and moderating consumer spending, and corporate credit has returned to normalise. Especially, when terms of loans have been fairly brutal such as the recent terms with CIT.


S&P Earnings Fall Dramatically

From ChartOfTheDay:

"Today's chart provides some perspective on the current earnings environment by focusing on 12-month, as reported S&P 500 earnings. Today's chart illustrates how earnings are expected (38% of S&P 500 companies have reported for Q2 2009) to have declined over 98% since peaking in Q3 2007, making this by far the largest decline on record (the data goes back to 1936). In fact, real earnings have dropped to a record low and if current estimates hold, Q3 2009 will see the first 12-month period during which S&P 500 earnings are negative."


Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Hidden Cost of Minimum Wage

"Anyone who has taken an introductory economics course is familiar with the idea that a minimum wage leads to a reduction in the demand for labor and an increase in the supply of labor in the relevant market — usually, the market for low-skill workers. The minimum wage removes the ability of some workers to compete by accepting lower wages and shuts them out of the labor force. As a result, it reduces job opportunities for these workers. A minimum wage breaks the hinges on the door of opportunity.

However, there are additional, hidden costs of these interventions, which are more difficult to detect but perhaps more insidious. For example, one effect of a minimum wage is to reduce the availability of on-the-job training, since more resources are required simply to hire and retain a workforce. And further interventions in the labor market (for example, safety regulations and payroll taxes) make it still more costly to employ labor. These burdens together reduce a firm's willingness to hire laborers and — in the long run — must reduce the number of opportunities for those laborers to acquire valuable job skills. Far from increasing opportunities for the working poor, a minimum wage actually restricts their mobility."


The Real Unemployment Rate Hits 68 Year High

"As bad as they are, these figures dramatically understate the true extent of unemployment. First, they exclude anyone without a job who is ready to work but has not actively looked for a job in the previous four weeks. The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies such workers as “marginally attached to the labor force” so long as they have looked for work within the last year. Marginally attached workers include so-called discouraged workers who have given up looking for job-related reasons, plus others who have given up for reasons such as school and family responsibilities, ill health, or transportation problems.

Second, the official unemployment rate leaves out part-time workers looking for full-time work: part-time workers are “employed” even if they work as little as one hour a week. The vast majority of people working part time involuntarily have had their hours cut due to slack or unfavorable business conditions. The rest are working part time because they could only find part-time work."


Double Dip Recession?

“There is a real danger this is going to be a double dip and that after six months or so we’ll have some more bad news,” Feldstein, the former head of the National Bureau of Economic Research and Reagan administration adviser, said today in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “We could slide down again in the fourth quarter.”

"The economy could “flatten out” or “even be positive” in the third quarter, and then it’s likely to contract again in the last three months of the year as the effects of the federal stimulus program wear off and companies finish rebuilding inventories, he said.
“There isn’t going to be enough to sustain a really solid recovery,” he said, even though recent data has provided some “good news” on the economy."


Seven Years of Subpar Growth

"The U.S. won’t see a return to “full” employment for another six years, helping to hold down inflation, according to former Federal Reserve Governor Laurence Meyer.

“I think there’s going to be a long legacy of the financial crisis and the deep recession,” Meyer said in an interview today on Bloomberg Radio.

The economy is “a very, very long way off” from its potential growth rate, Meyer said. While the expansion will probably be “modestly above trend next year” and “significantly above trend in 2011,” that won’t help restore the nation to a “normal” job-market, he said."


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

NYC Unemployment Hits 9.5%

Reported from the nydailynews:

"The jobless rate in New York rose to a 12-year high of 9.5% last month, equaling the nationwide rate for the first time in the recession."

This is no surprise considering that the lost of jobs in the financial sector leads to declines in service jobs from the local bussers to the newspaper vendors down Main St. Lets wait and see what the backend sitmulus will do for this economy.


Manpower rating lowered by Barclays Capital

Employment services company Manpower Inc. (MAN) saw its earnings estimates cut through 2010 on Monday by analysts at Barclays Capital.

Barclays cited continued weak economic signals in the U.S. and Europe for the downgrade. The analyst currently rates Manpower as “Equal-weight.”

Manpower shares were mostly flat in afternoon trading Monday.

The Bottom Line

We recently removed shares of MAN from our “recommended” list on May 13, when the stock was trading at $44.14. We were in the shares briefly at around the same levels from where we removed the name. The company has a 1.86% dividend yield, based on Friday’s closing stock price of $39.81. The stock has technical support in the $35-36 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $45-46 price levels. We would remain on the sidelines for now.


Robert Half International Earnings Q2 2009

So from AP Robert Half announced earnings.

"second-quarter profit dropped 93 percent as unemployment jumped amid the recession"

"For the period ended June 30, the company posted net income after paying preferred dividends of $4.8 million, or 3 cents per share, compared with $72.3 million, or 47 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue fell 39 percent to $749.9 million from $1.22 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected, on average, earnings of 3 cents per share on slightly higher revenue of $755.4 million."

"Robert Half's revenue comes mainly from fees it charges for staffing consulting and services."

"Messmer (chairman and CEO), though, said he was encouraged that "sequential declines (in employment numbers) were significantly less than those reported in the previous quarters.""

Quote to take from their Q & A session:

"Keith Waddell

I guess we would say, outside the US, in the UK and Canada, the pace of the declines has improved. Continental Europe and Asia, the pace of the declines is either the same or worse. When you put them all together, the sequential decline outside the US for this past quarter was about the same as it was the prior quarter, although the components were different.

So, clearly Continental Europe and Asia were later to the game. But that being said; they've clearly caught the same cold that the US had, and are later in the results they are reporting and their impact of the downturn. So, the stabilization trends, may frankly when we talk about eight weeks of stable, that is consolidated and US has actually improved a little bit to offset the decline outside the US."

Yet there is still a decline in revenue. This has not been any different from technology companies reporting a decline in their revenue. What is a catalyst for growth? The stimulus? Rebound in the capital markets?

The main problem is that consumer demand continues to decline. Those with jobs are reluctant to spend. Those without are saving their walnuts for another season or possibly year. There has been a fundamental shift in the consumer which is a large component of the United States economy, which other economies around the world also become affected. Just as companies are trying to save money and invest in R&D most companies still do not see an upturn in the near future. A jobless recovery happened after the implosion, how is this any different.

Revenues will continue to be light especially in the human resources sector. Besides consumer spending small business are indirectly affected by this downturn. Without the capital and the resources to grow their business so does the need for services from a large recruitment agency. Why pay X amount of dollars when X recruitment agency is able to undercut them with the same service offerings. This becomes a low margin business with human capital turning from an asset to a liability. Companies with scale such as Manpower needs to continue to contain cost through reduction in headcount, and invest more in technology.

Trends such as contracting seem to be growing through off base online vendors. Recruitment agencies have no control over this increase in independent contracting.

Tomorrow is MAN's earnings, lets wait and see if this becomes gloom and doom or is there a silver lining in the horizon.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Manpower Upgrade?

So the Standard and Poor's recently upgraded Manpower to a HOLD from SELL due to a change in how they value the company. Instead of using P/E as a way to value the company they are using P/S instead.

- Yes, Manpower generates massive revenue due to its scale in the global markets. However, quarter on quarter on yearly comps they are performing horribly. There have been small up ticks in employment. But nothing to say that we are out of the woods in terms of employment.

- Another thing to take note. There is not a lot of barrier to entree to recruiting. In each market there are competitive players that are via'ing for that commission fee. Some will under bid in order to win that contract. This causes mischief in this already low margin market.

- Sales from the prior quarter was down dramatically. Unless they continue to cut cost, and reduce overhead through reduced hours, continued cuts in admin, I foresee Manpower's numbers to be fairly muted in the markets that they continued to be weak in. Earnings will be announced on Thursday and I like many will look forward to this. Adecco has slashed a couple hundred from its payroll. I have not seen this from Manpower in a press release. It may want to do that to retain its very expensive valuation.

What recovery?

This post is from Robert Reich. Mr.Reich was the U.S. former 22nd Secretary of Labor. He poses some realistic signs of continued lag of growth in the economy.

"The so-called "green shoots" of recovery are turning brown in the scorching summer sun. In fact, the whole debate about when and how a recovery will begin is wrongly framed. On one side are the V-shapers who look back at prior recessions and conclude that the faster an economy drops, the faster it gets back on track. And because this economy fell off a cliff late last fall, they expect it to roar to life early next year. Hence the V shape.

Unfortunately, V-shapers are looking back at the wrong recessions. Focus on those that started with the bursting of a giant speculative bubble and you see slow recoveries. The reason is asset values at bottom are so low that investor confidence returns only gradually.

That's where the more sober U-shapers come in. They predict a more gradual recovery, as investors slowly tiptoe back into the market.
Personally, I don't buy into either camp. In a recession this deep, recovery doesn't depend on investors. It depends on consumers who, after all, are 70 percent of the U.S. economy. And this time consumers got really whacked. Until consumers start spending again, you can forget any recovery, V or U shaped.

Problem is, consumers won't start spending until they have money in their pockets and feel reasonably secure. But they don't have the money, and it's hard to see where it will come from. They can't borrow. Their homes are worth a fraction of what they were before, so say goodbye to home equity loans and refinancings. One out of ten home owners is under water -- owing more on their homes than their homes are worth. Unemployment continues to rise, and number of hours at work continues to drop. Those who can are saving. Those who can't are hunkering down, as they must.

Eventually consumers will replace cars and appliances and other stuff that wears out, but a recovery can't be built on replacements. Don't expect businesses to invest much more without lots of consumers hankering after lots of new stuff. And don't rely on exports. The global economy is contracting.

My prediction, then? Not a V, not a U. But an X. This economy can't get back on track because the track we were on for years -- featuring flat or declining median wages, mounting consumer debt, and widening insecurity, not to mention increasing carbon in the atmosphere -- simply cannot be sustained.

The X marks a brand new track -- a new economy. What will it look like? Nobody knows. All we know is the current economy can't "recover" because it can't go back to where it was before the crash. So instead of asking when the recovery will start, we should be asking when and how the new economy will begin. More on this to come."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Unemployment continues to reside at elevated levels

Spain is currently at 18.70%
Turkey at 14.90%
Ireland at 11.90%
Poland at 10.80%
France at 9.30%

All reside in Europe and have seen very little in terms of a turnaround. We might be one third in this financial credit crunch and face some near term challenges going forward. Once this near term equity bull market subsides employment may continue to find its balloon about to burst.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

United States Full Time Becomes Part Time

The latest June report had a decline in hourly work hours. This decline to an average work week of 33 hours (down 0.1). This is getting to the point where the U.S. is trailing the average work week of France.

Average work week salary also declined from $613.34 to 611.49. A couple bucks doesn't seem like much on an individual comparison; however when you add up the numbers it can very well lead to a jobless recovery.

Without consumer spending which is 70% of the United States economy; a jobless recovery seems to be more and more apparent.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Jobless Benefits Dropped 52,000 to 565,000 in the United States

Jobless benefits dropped 52000 to "a seasonally adjusted" 565,000 in the week ended July 4.

Numbers have mildly improved. However a drop of 52,000 seems to have been atributed to a shift by the auto industry to later layoffs for the summer. So although the numbers seem to have improved there is still continued weakness in the job market.

It is a good sign with commodity prices drifting lower. With these higher prices we will continue to see continued weakness in consumer spending, and capital ex. So with a decline in prices and decline in currency pressure this decline will not seem as bad.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Great research tool for recruiters

This is hands down one of the best sites regarding the role and the status of the recruiting industry. From what I've read there hasn't been much fluff regarding the industry as a whole. There are many changes at hand in the industry, and if you don't continue to evolve along with it that you maybe left to the curb.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Workplace Discrimination @

There is an interesting blog at :

That looks at the stats of White testers versus Minorities testers. It's some very interesting statistics. There must be a high degree of discrimination in countries such as Australia.

Discrimination is well profound. Especially, in countries such as Australia.
It is not ideal if you have plans to work for an employer and you are a minority in Australia.

Seems as if getting an interview is a known problem especially among immigrants there.
It'll be interesting to see how Manpower Australia deals with this. Manpower may want to lighten it's recruiting base there if this presents a longer term problem, amid the competition and tension between Whites and Minority applicants. Especially, since the situation has only mildly improved since the early 70's. Some markets I don't find very lucrative due to under lying discrimination such as this. Seems to deflat any innovation that is present.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Unemployment Rate

With the release of the unemployment rate in the United States hovering at 9.5%

9.5% is the official gov stats. This however gets revised over time. The real numbers are much more grim. At the following site tells the story of the real toll that this depression has taken on the overall economy in the United States.

With a continued trend to deleveraging the past couple decades of excess, and a tremendous toll on personal wealth I don't foresee growth in the near future. Even with all this green shoot talk, that has also died down.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Continued weak employment numbers - Manpower Recruiters

From the numbers released on Thursday unemployment ticked up again to 9.5% in the United States. With no real sign of stablizing in the job market, and a lack of clairty going forward. There is no reason to think any different with recruiting firms such as Manpower.

From their recent 10-K filing most of their major markets are down across the board. Just as with peers announcing a weak job market - I don't feel any different in regards to Manpower or any of the other recruiting competitors.

Manpower will be releasing its numbers later on this month, which I am sure many are looking forward. It is one thing to build scale in a business - but as we have seen the larger the scale the more likely they will fall during a downturn, and this is no different.

Once the economy and all the excess government stimulus wears off another downturn will resume. This will affect employment along with those that are under employed. This hasn't been brought up much in the mass media as much as unemployment. This continues to be a major problem not only in developed countries; but also in the emerging markets.

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