Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Jobless Recovery in 2010 - MF Global

Recently MF Global released a research note concerning the top ten trends in 2010. One of the trends was the premise of a jobless recovery.

The following is the investor note from MF Global:

"2010 will be characterized by a jobless recovery. MFGR sees the unemployment rate peaking at 10.5% and closing the year between 9.5% and 10%. The unemployment rates in EM and ASEAN counties should fall more steadily while it will likely increase in Europe. MFGR is expecting the latter as many of the stimulus programs initiated by European government included programs directed solely at hiring or preventing layoffs.

Out of a survey of 10 Euro-Zone countries, 8 employed labour activation measures. Many of these programs are set to expire in the new year. As employers are facing a lack luster recovery, the likelihood of a robust expansion in the labour markets sans government incentives is minimal. Furthermore, employers will likely be forced to cut back on labour as its costs up to the point have been subsidized.

On the US front, the outlook for taxes is murky and the healthcare initiative which will likely force all employers to provide care or pay a penalty will discourage the expansion of the labour force. Though the Obama administration is extending the capital gains holiday for small businesses, employers need to feel confident that their profit margins will not erode in the future due to tax increases in order to genuinely contribute to job growth. Moreover, budget shortfalls at the state and local government level will cap government hiring.

Globally speaking, there has been a significant increase in structural employment that is now part of the new normal. The collapse of the financial markets has led to a permanent shrinkage of the financial industry and the impending regulation will make financial innovation, a factor that does lead to job growth, very difficult. The manufacturing industry faces the same problem. Globalization will lead to the removal of manufacturing jobs in advance economies and cause a shortage of skilled labour forcing many to look to build other skill sets."

Source: MF Global

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