Posts Tagged ‘job market’

Dead Cat Labor Market

Dead Cat Labor Market

Courtesy of Michael Panzner at Financial Armageddon 


(Image: Source)

Rebound in the labor market? Looks more like a dead cat bounce, where a great many of the jobs being created are either temporarypart-timelow wage, or stripped down, like those detailed in the following report,"Say Goodbye to Full-Time Jobs with Benefits":

Jobs may be coming back, but they aren’t the same ones workers were used to.

Many of the jobs employers are adding are temporary or contract positions, rather than traditional full-time jobs with benefits. With unemployment remaining near 10%, employers have their pick of workers willing to accept less secure positions.

In 2005, the government estimated that 31% of U.S. workers were already so-called contingent workers. Experts say that number could increase to 40% or more in the next 10 years.

James Stoeckmann, senior practice leader at WorldatWork, a professional association of human resource executives, believes that full-time employees could become the minority of the nation’s workforce within 20 to 30 years, leaving employees without traditional benefits such as health coverage, paid vacations and retirement plans, that most workers take for granted today.

"The traditional job is not doomed. But it will increasingly have competition from other models, the most prominent is the independent contractor model," he said.

Doug Arms, senior vice president of Ajilon, a staffing firm, says about 90% of the positions his company is helping clients fill right now are on a contract basis.

"[Employers] are reluctant to bring on permanent employees too quickly," he said. "And the available candidate landscape is much different now. They’re a little more aggressive to take any position."

Cathy, who asked that her last name not be used, lost her job as a recruiter for a financial services firm in February 2009. She started working on a contract basis four months later. She believes that many employers are taking improper advantage of the weak labor market.

"I work in HR, I understand that sometimes you need to hire a contractor because you have a project and you won’t need the person when it’s done in three months," she said. "But that’s not what’s happening here."

Cathy said her co-workers who had permanent jobs didn’t treat her differently, but she still felt like a

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More on the Improved Labor Market

More on the Improved Labor Market

Courtesy of Jake at Econompic Data 

Some additional detail behind the improvement we’ve seen on the margin in the labor market year to date. The AP reports:

Job openings rose sharply earlier this year, a sign that employers might be preparing to step up hiring.

The number of openings in January rose about 7.6 percent, to 2.7 million, compared with December, the Labor Department said. And the job openings rate climbed to 2.1 percent, the highest in nearly a year. That rate measures available jobs as a percentage of total employment.

There are now about 5.5 unemployed people, on average, competing for each opening. That’s still far more than the 1.7 people who were competing for each opening when the recession began. But it’s down from just over 6 people per opening in December 2009.

The gradually brightening jobs picture corresponds to what many job search Web sites are reporting.

As can be seen below, while the number of openings has jumped, the level of hires has not necessarily improved (possibly partially explained by the wariness of those with jobs to make the plunge).

Job Situation

While not anywhere near normalized, the unemployed to job opening ratio has turned sharply.

unemployment to jobs openings ration
This will be another important metric to watch in coming months.
Source: BLS


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Still Shedding Jobs

Still Shedding Jobs

Courtesy of Econompic Data

Bloomberg reports:

Companies in the U.S. cut an estimated 169,000 jobs in November, according to a private report based on payroll data.

The drop, the smallest since July 2008, compares with a revised 195,000 decline the prior month, data from ADP Employer Services showed today. The figures were forecast to show a decline of 150,000 jobs, according to the median estimate of 32 economists in a Bloomberg survey.

The report signals the job market is still deteriorating and unemployment will probably climb further even as the economy is emerging from the worst recession since the 1930s. After overestimating payroll losses by 103,000 on average in the five months to September, ADP’s initial estimate for October was in line with the government’s payroll figures.

“Our economy is still a long way from adding jobs,” Guy LeBas, chief fixed-income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Philadelphia, said before the report. “Labor markets remain the one area where significant improvement in economic conditions has yet to manifest.”

ADP includes only private employment and doesn’t take into account hiring by government agencies.

ADP job gains/losses

Optimists will say this report shows "The Bleeding is Slowing‘, but the fact is that after shedding THIS many jobs and we are still losing 150k+ jobs per month is simply stunning.

Source: ADP


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Brace for a Wave of Foreclosures, the Dam is About to Break

Brace for a Wave of Foreclosures, the Dam is About to Break

Courtesy of Mish

A summary of Second Quarter 2009 Negative Equity Data from First American CoreLogic shows that Nearly One-Third Of All Mortgages Are Underwater.

• More than 15.2 million U.S. mortgages, or 32.2 percent of all mortgaged properties, were in negative equity position as of June 30, 2009 according to newly released data from First American CoreLogic. As of June 2009, there were an additional 2.5 million mortgaged properties that were approaching negative equity. Negative equity and near negative equity mortgages combined account for nearly 38 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage nationwide.

• The aggregate property value for loans in a negative equity position was $3.4 trillion, which represents the total property value at risk of default. In California, the aggregate value of homes that are in negative equity was $969 billion, followed by Florida ($432 billion), New Jersey ($146 billion), Illinois ($146 billion) and Arizona ($140 billion). Los Angeles had over $310 billion in aggregate property value in a negative equity position, followed by New York ($183 billion), Miami ($152 billion), Washington, DC ($149 billion) and Chicago ($134 billion).

• The distribution of negative equity is heavily skewed to a small number of states as three states account for roughly half of all mortgage borrowers in a negative equity position. Nevada (66 percent) had the highest percentage with nearly two?thirds of mortgage borrowers in a negative equity position. In Arizona (51 percent) and Florida (49 percent), half of all mortgage borrowers were in a negative equity position. Michigan (48 percent) and California (42 percent) round out the top five states.

There are some interesting tables and graphs in the article that inquiring minds are investigating. Here are some partial alphabetical lists.

click on any chart in this post to see a sharper image

Negative Equity Share

Property Values and Loan-To-Equity Ratios

Nevada, not shown has a near-negative equity share of 68.9% and a Loan-To-Value ratio of a whopping 115%!

It is disingenuous to say there are only a half-dozen or so problem states, when the problem states are where people live. It is wrong to treat Alabama and Alaska the same as California or Florida.

Mortgage Facts and Figures – Select States

  • California has $2.4 trillion in mortgages debt. 42.0% of the properties have negative

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Zero Hedge

Turkish Shootdown of Russian Jet: What You Need to Know

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by George Washington.

A U.S. official told Reuters that the Russian jet was inside of Syria when it was shot down:

The United States believes that the Russian jet shot down by Turkey on Tuesday was hit inside Syrian airspace after a brief incursion into Turkish airspace, a U.S. official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Russia denies that the Russian fighter jet – which was bombing ISIS – ever entered Turkish air space, and has put out its ...

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Phil's Favorites

The only risk that counts


The only risk that counts

Courtesy of Joshua Brown, The Reformed Broker

If you’re a millennial, your definition of financial risk should be based entirely on the likelihood of losing your job or heading down the wrong career path. Stock market volatility should literally be the last thing on your mind.

Rob Arnott has made the case that the odds of you losing your job go up substantially when the stock market goes down, but it’s important that you separate the two things in your mind when putting away pre-tax money into a retirement account.

In fact, I would argue that stock market volatility should be embraced for the under 35 set. Ostensibly, you’ve got years (decades) of future accumulation ahead...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: David is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.

To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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Chart School

2-0 Bulls

Courtesy of Declan.

A second day for bulls to shine despite modest end-of-day gains. Some indices did better than others. The Russell 2000 was the key performer. It finished with a MACD trigger 'buy' and looks ready to outperform the Nasdaq 100.  This is an important development for bulls looking for more from other indices. A move to challenge - then break - its 200-day MA, would convert August-November action into a healthy basing action.

The Nasdaq registered higher volume accumulation as a brief sojourn below the 20-day MA was reversed. It's nicely set up for a push to new swing highs.


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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

U.S. Index Futures Drop After Turkey Shoots Down Russia Warplane (Bloomberg)

U.S. stock-index futures declined after Turkey said it shot down a Russian warplane, while investors await data for further indications of the strength of the world’s biggest economy.

Airline shares are plummeting as easyJet suspends more flights to Egypt (Business Insider)

Shares in British listed airlines are tan...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

S&P 500 – Dangerous for bull case, if prices turn weak here!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.


The S&P 500 remains inside of a rising channel that has been in place since 2010. The 5-year trend is up.

The 5-month trend is a different story, at this time.

Over the past 5-months, the S&P 500 has created a series of “falling weekly closing highs,” which is represented by line (1) above.

The S&P is testing this falling resistance line at (2) above.

If weakness takes place at (2) above, at falling resistance, it would be concerning price action for the bullish case!


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Sector Detector: Bulls wrest back control of market direction, despite global adversity

Reminder: Sabrient is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Some weeks when I write this article there is little new to talk about from the prior week. It’s always the Fed, global QE, China growth, election chatter, oil prices, etc. And then there are times like this in which there is so much happening that I don’t know where to start. Of course, the biggest market-moving news came the weekend before last when Paris was put face-to-face with the depths of human depravity and savagery. And yet the stock market responded with its best week of the year. As a result, the key issues dominating the front page and election chatter have moved from the economy and jobs to national security and a real war (rather than police ...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of November 23rd, 2015

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...

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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin's Computing Network is More Powerful than 525 Googles and 10,000 Banks!

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Reggie Middleton.

I've decided to build our startup - Veritaseum, a peer-to-peer financial services platform, directly on top of the Bitcoin Blockchain. Many queried why I would voluntarily give up a lucrative advisory and consulting business to chase virtual coins in cyberspace. That's exactly why I decided to do it. That level of misunderstanding of what is essentially the second coming of the Internet gave me a fundamental advantage over those who had deeper connections, more capital and more firepower. I was the first mover advantage holder.

You see, Bitcoin is not about coins, currency or price pops. It is a massive computing net...

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PSW is more than just stock talk!


We know you love coming here for our Stocks & Options education, strategy and trade ideas, and for Phil's daily commentary which you can't live without, but there's more! features the most important and most interesting news items from around the web, all day, every day!

News: If you missed it, you can probably find it in our Market News section. We sift through piles of news so you don't have to.   

If you are looking for non-mainstream, provocatively-narrated news and opinion pieces which promise to make you think -- we feature Zero Hedge, ...

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Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli


Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli

Courtesy of Value Walk

1) The shares of one of my largest short positions (~3%), Exact Sciences, crashed by more than 46% yesterday. Below is the article I published this morning on SeekingAlpha, explaining why I think it’s still a great short and thus shorted more yesterday. Here’s a summary:

  • The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Draft Recommendation issued yesterday is devastating for Exact Sciences’ only product, Cologuard.
  • I think this is the beginning of the end for the company.
  • My price target for the stock a year from now is $3, so I shorted more yes...

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Baxter's Spinoff

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).

The Baxalta Spinoff

By Ilene with Trevor of Lowenthal Capital Partners and Paul Price

In its recent filing with the SEC, Baxter provides:

“This information statement is being ...

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Mapping The Market

An update on oil proxies

Courtesy of Jean-Luc Saillard

Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself. 


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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at with any questions.

Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts.  After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.)  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.

Thank you for you time!

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