ADP has released its National Employment Report for September. During the month, private sector employment decreased by 39,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis. After an upward revision of 10,000 new jobs created for August, the September numbers are a reversal from employment trends that seemed to be stabilizing by arresting two years of employment declines. For seven consecutive moths the economy was creating average employment gains of 34,000 private sector jobs. The September numbers reverses that trend and raises concern about the strength of the economic recovery.
A stabilized labor market is a key ingredient to a sustained economic recovery. Over the past three years the economy lost over 9 million jobs. For a robust recovery to occur the economy needs to create 200,000 jobs per month for the next four years to return the job market to its pre-recession levels.
The Federal stimulus program that directed funds to state and local governments to help stem layoffs has now expired. This will result in further belt tightening by local government agencies and will result in layoffs of employees to meet the fiscal restraint imposed by the poor economy. This will exacerbate the unemployment problem and further impede the buying power and tax revenues. This will continue to hurt the retail industry and local governments sales tax receipts.
The reduction in the government work force is symptomatic of the reconfiguration of the economy. During the past decade government employment increased dramatically. Its pairing down will put added pressure on the private sector to incubate new industries to drive the recovery. Manufacturing and the growth industries of the past decade will be hard pressed to create the level of job creation a robust recovery requires.
The ADP report indicates that since its peak in January of 2007, construction employment has lost 2,297,000 jobs. Construction trades along with credit marketing, retailing, community banking and services supporting these sectors have been dramatically weakened and downsized in the wake of the recession. The private sector led by small and mid-size enterprises (SME) will need to incubate growth industries to create jobs and lead the country out of the doldrums of the flailing economic recovery.
The principal macroeconomic factors impairing recovery are the continued high unemployment rate, continued weakness in the housing market, persistent deflation concerns, tax policy and deepening fiscal crisis of state, local and federal governments. The economic impact of the Gulf oil spill was immediate and dramatic to the local aqua-cultural industries, fishing and regional tourist industries. The long term effects of the spill on the ecological communities of the Gulf is yet to be determined. The geopolitical uncertainty of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, persistent worries about Iran's nuclear program and the sovereign debt crisis of the weaker EU member states are persistent concerns weighing on capital market participants.
Highlights of the ADP Report for September include:
Estimates non-farm private employment in the service-providing sector decreased by 39,000.
Employment in the goods-producing sector declined 45,000
Employment in the manufacturing sector declined 17,000
Construction employment declined 28,000
Employment in the services sector rose 6,000.
Large businesses with 500 or more workers declined 11,000
Medium-size businesses, defined as those with between 50 and 499 workers declined 14,000
Employment among small-size businesses with fewer than 50 workers, declined 14,000
Overview of Numbers
Overview of Numbers
Job loss in the SME sector is troubling. SMEs are the backbone of the construction and retail industries and the continued weakness of these sectors weighs on their ability to become a driver of consistent job growth. The continued deterioration of the financial health of SMEs and their ability to marshal resources from depleted balance sheets and limited credit lines may be impairing the ability to mount an effective response to the dire economic conditions.
Despite the backdrop of the stock markets stellar performance during September, ADP's employment figures indicates that the economy continues to dwell at the bottom of an extreme down economic cycle. The danger of a double dip recession still lurks as a possibility. The balance sheets of large corporate entities are flush with cash. Some analysts estimate that over $1 Trillion in cash swells corporate coffers. Some economists speculate that deployment this cash is critical to the economic upturn and still a few quarters away from finding its way into the real economy.
Solutions from Sum2
Sum2 offers SME’s the Profit|Optimizer to help them manage risk, devise recovery strategies and make better informed capital allocation decisions.
For information on the construction and use of the ADP Report, please visit the methodology section of the ADP National Employment Report website.
You Tube Video: Van Halen, Ice Cream Man
Risk: unemployment, recession, recovery, SME