Thursday, April 1, 2010

Joking Around On April Fools Day

Today, while looking up "other things", I came across something else: The video clip from Saturday Night Live posted above. On a day of jokes and pranks, I thought it might be fun to share it with you. I found it worth my time to LMFAO for a couple minutes, and it made my day. I hope you find it equally hilarious, and share it with friends and family who might need a giggle ahead of the long weekend.

And now the news:

Initial Jobless Claims Slip for Fifth Consecutive Week
Amid concerns about a jobless economic recovery, initial claims for unemployment benefits in March slipped to 439,000, marking their fifth consecutive weekly decline, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The number came in slightly better than the consensus estimate of economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters, who expected new jobless claims to drop to 440,000.

For the week ending March 27, the initial jobless claims fell 6,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 445,000. (That week's figure was revised up from 442,000.)

Planned US job cuts up in March vs Feb -Challenger
NEW YORK, April 1 (Reuters) - The number of planned layoffs at U.S. firms rose in March, although planned job cuts for the first quarter were down sharply from a year ago, a report on Thursday showed.

Employers announced 67,611 planned job cuts last month, up from 42,090 the previous month, according to the report from global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The first-quarter total of 181,183 layoffs, however, is 69 percent lower than the 578,510 announced in the first quarter of 2009.

No Hiring Surge Yet: Private Sector Shed 23,000 Jobs in March
The private sector lost roughly 23,000 jobs in March, a slightly smaller decline than the 24,000 nonfarm jobs lost last month, according to the ADP employment report released on Wednesday. (The February loss was revised up from 20,000 jobs.)

The drop represents the most modest loss of jobs lost since employment started falling in February 2008, but it's still a disappointing figure given that economists expected the private sector to add 40,000 jobs during the month. Some estimates were even more bullish -- ranging from 80,000 to 130,000 new were even more bullish -- ranging from 80,000 to 130,000 new jobs created in March.

The number could indicate that private-sector job creation isn't in our immediate future, but there's also some hope that ADP data may lag the economy.

Geithner: Disparity in recovery 'deeply unfair'
WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Thursday it's "deeply unfair" that some financial institutions that got taxpayer-paid bailouts are emerging in better shape from the recession than millions of ordinary Americans.

He acknowledged public outrage over that and said people watched with disdain as Washington protected the banks and investment houses whose risky bets caused the crisis, even as the national unemployment rate was soaring to double-digit levels for the first time in a generation.

But in a nationally broadcast interview, Geithner also argued that President Barack Obama had no choice when facing a financial crisis but to support then-President George W. Bush's "unpopular" bailout plan.

Geithner said the other option was to "stand back" and do nothing, "and that would have been calamitous for the American economy."

Geithner said in Thursday's interview that administration officials are "very worried" about recovering the more than 8 million jobs lost in the recession. He said the unemployment rate of 9.7 percent is "unacceptably high."

He said that economic recovery will take "a long time," despite signs of improvement in the manufacturing sector and other bright spots.

Did Little Timmy Geithner just say the "economic recovery will take a long time"? Now that is news! Timmy, what happened to the "jobless recovery"? The Chinese get the joke. Americans not only get the joke, but have been grabbing their ankles for almost three years now. Has the administration finally realized there can be NO RECOVERY without jobs?

Don't get too giddy over good jobs report
Friday, the Labor Department will release March employment data, and economists have been optimistic the economy is finally gaining jobs and the recession has ended.

The consensus forecast, based on surveys of economists taken at the end of last week, is for a 200,000 jobs gain in March. The economy shed 36,000 jobs in February. The unemployment rate is expected to remain steady at 9.7 percent.

The ADP estimate for private sector jobs creation, released Wednesday, indicated a 23,000 loss, but that estimate does not include government workers and does not always track more comprehensive Labor Department estimates of private employment.

Government employment-boosted by temporary census jobs-should play a big roll, but most private economists have been looking for private employment to be growing again.

Either way, the pace of private jobs creation won't be enough to restore the economy to good health quickly.

The Great Recession destroyed 8.4 million.

To bring down the unemployment rate, the economy must add about 150,000 jobs a month to accommodate adult population growth, reentry of discouraged workers and marginally-occupied self-employed workers. Including the latter two groups, unemployment is closer to 20 percent than the 9.7 percent headline figure.

Overall, the economy must add more than 13 million jobs to bring unemployment down to 6 percent by the end of 2013. With state and local governments facing tough financial constraints, the private sector must add at least that many jobs to accomplish the task.

Accounting for productivity, population growth and labor force reentry, the economy and private business sector must grow at better than 3 percent a year to bring unemployment down, and that is a tough challenge.;_ylt=AnMvaqGJDTg1u9A.VKjKKZC7YWsA;_ylu=X3oDMTE1Y25icG1rBHBvcwM1BHNlYwN0b3BTdG9yaWVzBHNsawNkb250Z2V0dG9vZ2k-?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=3&asset=&ccode=

Economists estimate that employers added around 190,000 jobs in March, in what they hope will be the start of consistent payroll gains. If they are right, it would mark the biggest jobs gain in three years and only the second month since the recession started in December 2007 that the economy actually added jobs.

The desperation of the administration regarding jobs growth is obvious. The way "temporary Census Jobs" has been touted by the financial news media as having a positive impact on jobs growth in March is beyond pathetic. When these jobs disappear, will they be used to "explain away" a renewed increase in job losses?

According to the Census Bureau, 181k people are expected to be hired from January through to March. At least a third of those people already filled their positions in the first 2 months of the year, leaving approximately 60-80k new hirers. Between April and May, another 800k people are expected to be hired. Nearly all of these jobs are temporary because once the census survey is finished, these workers will no longer be needed. As a result, the real NFP number in March, which excludes census hiring is probably half of what will be reported.

Making excuses that the ADP number doesn't include "government workers" to make the case that non-farm payrolls will rise despite the losses in the "private sector" is worse than pathetic. Economic recoveries DO NOT spring from an increase in government jobs. Economic recoveries can only be spawned by jobs growth in the private sector. And they most certainly can not be hatched from a nest of TEMPORARY Census Taker Jobs.

I fully expect the non-farm payrolls number tomorrow to come in "less than expected" and subtracting the census workers the "real" jobs number to be half of that. Any jobs growth should be a negative for the US Dollar judging by today's reaction to a decrease in jobless claims, but then in these rigged markets, "you never know".

Gold broke sharply higher today on the Dollar's weakness. Silver soared. It is interesting to note that since 6PM est last Thursday, following the CFTC hearings and GATA's announcement of a whistleblower on the JPMorgan manipulation of Silver on the CRIMEX, Silver has been all up rising as much as 1.46 per ounce since.

Gold closed today, and for the week, above key near-term resistance at 1122. This opens the door for a test of the neckline of the broad Reverse Head & Shoulders consolidation we noted in our chart posted on Saturday, March, 27. The neckline of this developing pattern has now fallen to 1134 from 1137, and is now our target. A break of this neckline has the potential to launch a major short squeeze and send Gold to new all-time highs as April is a seasonally strong month for Gold.

With a close above key resistance at 17.60 this week, and a break of the downtrend line off the early December high, Silver now has the potential to trigger a major short squeeze that could see Silver peak above 20 by mid-May.

As always, we remain on guard against further attacks on the Precious Metals by the CRIMEX goons, but the tables could be turning on these Rat Bastids as the music may be about to stop on their wicked game of musical chairs in the futures pits in New York.

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