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Bureau of Labor Statistics |  Mass Layoffs Summary | 23 Sepp 2008

MASS LAYOFFS IN AUGUST 2008

In August, employers took 1,772 mass layoff actions, seasonally adjusted, as measured by new filings for unemployment insurance benefits during the month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S.  Department of Labor reported today.  Each action involved at least 50 persons from a single employer; the number of workers involved totaled 173,955, on a seasonally adjusted basis. Layoff events reached a program high for the month of August (with data available back to 1995), and associated initial claimants reached its highest level for the month since 2001.  The number of mass layoff events this August increased by 260 from the prior month, while the number of associated initial claims rose by 22,784.  In August, 599 mass layoff events were reported in the manufacturing sector, seasonally adjusted, resulting in 72,244 initial claims.  Over the month, mass layoff events in manufacturing increased by 156, and initial claims in-creased by 14,774.  (See table 1.)

From January through August 2008, the total number of mass layoff events (seasonally adjusted), at 12,542, and initial claims (seasonally adjusted), at 1,274,765, were the highest for the January-August period since 2003.

The national unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in August, seasonally adjusted, up from 5.7 percent in the prior month and from 4.7 percent a year earlier. In August, total nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 84,000 over the month and by 283,000 from a year earlier.

Yu Yongding, a former adviser to the Chinese central bank | PR | 25 Sep 2008

"We are in the same boat, we must cooperate," Yu said in an interview in Beijing on Sept. 23. "If there's no selling in a panicked way, then China willingly can continue to provide our financial support by continuing to hold U.S. assets."

An agreement is needed so that no nation rushes to sell, "`causing a collapse," Yu said. Japan is the biggest owner of U.S. Treasury bills, holding $593 billion, and China is second with $519 billion. Asian countries together hold half of the $2.67 trillion total held by foreign nations.
[...]
China should stop intervening in the foreign currency markets and thus allow rapid appreciation of the yuan, he said. While this would cause pain for exporters, China could ease the transition by using its strong fiscal position to aid those who lose their jobs. It also should stimulate domestic demand to offset lower income from overseas sales.

Without yuan appreciation, China will continue to accumulate foreign reserves, which means further accumulating "IOUs from the U.S.," said Yu. "This is paper and it may default and it will not increase China's national welfare."

A reason to enact Dodd's plan to buy out the global securities market before recess-- end of business 26 Sep 2008 to 18 Jan 2009?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:40:52 AM EST

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