The Breakdown

Explaining Southern California's economy

Unemployment preview: Ahead of Friday's official data, the outlook is grim

The official August employment numbers will be released by the BLS tomorrow. But a few other notable sources have already provided data:

Meanwhile, the economic consensus is expecting something in the neighborhood of 100,000 jobs added to non-farm payrolls. 

The economist Peter Morici, who's been hammering away at the jobs problem for over a year now, summed up an unpleasant situation rather nicely at CNBC:

The economy must add 130,000 jobs each month to accommodate a growing adult population seeking work.

The key factor stifling jobs creation is sluggish GDP growth, which only advanced 1.3 percent in the second quarter and 0.3 percent in the first. Businesses can’t hire and pay new workers without more customers.

For much of the year, jobs creation has been running below Morici's benchmark. Additionally, growth forecasts for 2011-12 have GDP slogging along at 1-3 percent, which would mean unemployment at elevated levels for another year at least. In Southern California, this is troubling because our jobless rate, at 12 percent is well above the national level of 9.1 percent. In LA County, it's 12.4 percent, and in surrounding regions, it's even higher.

All indications are that Friday isn't going to bring much joy for the jobless.

Chart: Google

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