Two of the components -- consumer confidence and the outlook for the national economy -- were up sharply during the month, and there also was a small increase in help wanted advertising. On the downside, local stock prices took a big tumble during the month. Building permits and initial claims for unemployment also were negative, but there were only slight declines in those components.
November’s unchanged reading broke a string of seven consecutive increases for the USD Index, said USD professor Alan Gin, who compiles the index every month. There is no change though in the previously reported outlook for 2010. The first few months of the year may be weak, with the local unemployment rate edging up to approach 11 percent, Gin said in his release.
Gin added that things will improve in the second half of the year, with a net overall gain of between 3,000 to 5,000 jobs for the year. An improving housing market will boost employment in construction, while research and development and health services will remain relatively strong. Rebounding local and national economies will stabilize employment in retailing and in the leisure and hospitality sector. However, job losses are expected to continue in manufacturing, which has lost jobs in 10 of the last 11 years.