I was looking at the employment picture last night and I have to say it's not looking good. Between housing and spending that is cutting into state and city revenues I'm seeing layoffs of 20, 30 and up to 190 at the city and state level. With corporations it's far worse. Auto plants shutting, airlines cutting back and of course construction that was the first to evaporate jobs months ago. The only bright spot was energy but with the lack of demand it is slipping as well. Mining another bright area is slipping as commodity prices fell.
Around here (Washington state) things aren't looking too well either. Usually the washington economy is the last in on a recession and the last out. Factors changed this time around. Boeing went on strike which affected the local economy. It's estimated that at least two jobs here are tied to each Boeing worker. Starbucks located here has been laying off and closing stores although I can't understand their business model as we have something like six of their stands or stores in a two mile stretch of road. That's on top of five or six other brands of latte stands.
So what's going to happen. There's no way this is going to turn around any time soon. As companies face lowered earnings they will continue their layoffs which in turn will lower spending and as we know 70% of our economy is made up of consumer spending. Expect even more layoffs next year and companies and banks to go under. What about the BIG bailout you say? That didn't put dent in the fundamentals of the problem. Look for big mergers as companies try to survive. We will need a new New Deal to get us out of this mess and it will be far more costly than what FDR came up with but consider the alternative. It will be a great opportunity to fix many of the problems facing this nation. An infrastructure that's fallen apart just look at our bridges, roads and power supply systems to get an idea.