This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

No Excess in Labor Market

In recent weeks, auto suppliers like Dana (DCN), Delphi (DPH) and Visteon (VC) have announced plans to lay off thousands of workers, and Yamarone said Ford (F - Get Report), General Motors (GM - Get Report) and DaimlerChrysler (DCX) could cut jobs, too.

Nationwide, layoffs rose to 109,045 in December, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Job cuts have now held above 100,000 for four straight months, the first time that has happened since early 2002.

Meanwhile, the four-week moving average of unemployment claims rose in the payroll survey week and the Conference Board's Help Wanted index recently slipped a point.

"Job growth continues to be sluggish, despite periodic reports that some companies are planning to add workers in the months ahead," said economist Ken Goldstein, a specialist in the labor markets.

On a more encouraging note, consumers saying jobs are "plentiful" increased to 19.4% in December from 17.1%, while those claiming jobs are "hard to get" fell to 26.4% from 28%, according to the Conference Board's consumer confidence survey.

For that and other reasons, economist Brian Jones of Citibank predicts that payrolls surged as much as 300,000 last month. On average, economists estimate that the jobless rate held steady at 5.4% and average hourly earnings are expected to rise 0.2%.

Federal Reserve officials believe the labor market is improving "gradually" and some members are becoming increasingly concerned about inflation and the low level of interest rates, the minutes of the Dec. 14 policy meeting show.

Still, Dain Rauscher's Boberski thinks the concerns are overblown.

"The number of new jobs this year will likely be half the number necessary to re-create pre-recession market conditions," he said. "It is safe to say that managers will be reluctant to try to attract and retain workers with sharply higher wages. That should be welcome news for policymakers eying inflation prospects for the new year."
2 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
F $13.32 0.00%
GM $30.54 0.00%
AAPL $93.24 0.00%
FB $117.81 0.00%
GOOG $701.43 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,660.71 +9.45 0.05%
S&P 500 2,050.63 -0.49 -0.02%
NASDAQ 4,717.0940 -8.5450 -0.18%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs