ECONOMY – SLOW, SLOWER, SLOWEST

BY: Adam Gavriel

Reports from Bloomberg.com today suggest that the United States economy may be on a slow path to recovery. The article reports that claims for jobless benefits in the US have hit a five-year low, decreasing 5,000 to 33,000 in the week ended January 19th. This is the fewest jobless claims since the same week in 2008.

Although some economists do not believe in an optimistic view here, just chalking it up to the times.

“The swings are attributable to the calendar,” said Brian Jones, senior U.S. economist at Societe Generale in New York, who projected a drop to 328,000. He said the numbers probably will rise at the end of the month as the calendar returns to normal. “We’re going to pay for this,” he said.

Mr. Jones is backed up by the fact that the new payroll tax at the start of the year will shake household confidence, causing consumer confidence to also falter. As part of a budget agreement, Congress has agreed to raise social security from its 4.2% rate back to 6.2% This in turn is causing some layoffs around the countries, as employers have to match all taxes from their employees.

American Express Co. has announced that they will be cutting 5400 jobs, or about 8.5% of their workforce. They are not alone as Morgan Stanley has also announced 1600 job cuts forthcoming.

“We’re being aggressive with our cost base,” Morgan Stanley Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James P. Gorman said on a Jan. 18 earnings call. “We live in a world of continued regulatory uncertainty.”

(If you are one of the employees affected by this story, please comment below and tell us how we can help! Or just vent!)

The number of Americans who continue to collect jobless benefits fell by 71,000 to 3.16 million, the fewest since July 2008.

While the numbers appear positive at first glance, all things seem to balance themselves out in the economic venue. Booms are often accompanied by busts, and vice versa.

It is extremely discouraging to hear that in a time of such uncertainty, big name players like American Express and Morgan Stanley will have to resort to layoffs, while the country tries to remedy the recession that has hit it throughout most of this past decade.

As the economy tip-toes between the line of boom and bust, remaining in purgatory, at Crossroads Consulting we are trying to get American’s working again.

With over 50 job openings that we are updating daily across the nation, we want to see your resume today!

If you’re not confident in your resume, we can take care of that for you as well with our recommended resume optimization service.

Remember, “We’re putting the ‘Human’ back into ‘Human Resources.’” Do not hesitate to let us know if there is anything, we can do to make your job hunting experience easier.

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