The jobless rate has jumped to 6.5% in October which is a 14 year high. Also, the non-farm payroll fell by 240,000 in October.
October’s drop in payroll employment followed declines of 127,000 in August and 284,000 in September, as revised.
I think it is fair to say the probability that the U.S. is in a recession is now greater than 50%. Employment/unemployment are lagging indicators, so when you hit ten months in a row of steadily declining job numbers (for the non-farm payroll) it is really not a good thing.
Employment has fallen by 1.2 million in the first 10 months of 2008; over half of the decrease has occurred in the past 3 months. In October, job losses continued in manufacturing, construction, and several service-providing industries. Health care and mining continued to add jobs.
We also have the chain store sales down sharply in October as well. Further, this is continuation of an on-going downward trend that started in June of 2008. The last time the chain store sales were negative was in March of 2008 and that was due to technical issues (a calendar shift).