Now with fine, stimululated Add On ... now including the fine chart above, from Calculated Risk.
While theatrical animation still employs many and the work situation hasn't declined precipitously (unlike other segment of the U.S. of A.), television staffing at many local studios remains spotty. Nick has a goodly number of projects, but other studios? Not so much.
TAG records show that 2,506 people are employed by contract studios, but of course those stats wouldn't reflect the 150 employees of Imagi who are recently unemployed.
Imagi's staff is still on layoff, the company still floundering. Word reaches us that some employees have been asked to come into work on Monday and will be paid, but misinformation is rampant. Some employees wonder if the studio will reopen.
Meanwhile, unemployment nationwide is grim and getting grimmer ...
• Total job losses since the recession started in December 2007: 3.6 million;
• Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed persons has increased by 4.1 million;
• Losses over the last three months: 1.8 million (Jan = 598, Dec = 577k, Nov = 597k);
• Unemployment rate for full-time workers spiked to 8%;
• For the first time since records began in 1939, there were three consecutive months of 500k + job losses;
• Job losses were broad based, with the diffusion index down to an all-time low of 25.3%;
• Household survey showed a record 1.24 million job plunge (Since data began in 1950)
• The calendar year 2008 saw 3 Million Job Losses;
• The employment-population ratio fell to 60.5%, down from 62.7% at the beginning of the recession, — the lowest rate since 1986.
• Unemployment rate: 16-year high (1992);
• January’s payroll drop of 598,000: most since December 1974;
• Payroll Revisions for 2008 were 400,000 more than initially announced;
• The 3.5 million job loss since January 2008 is the largest 12-month decline since the government started compiling those figures in 1939;
• U-6 Marginally attached and involuntary part-time workers: 13.9% last month — up almost five percent;
• The employment-to-population ratio was the lowest since 1986.
Happily, it looks like a stimulus bill is near at hand. Unhappily, it will probably need to be larger than it is.
Add On: Short Stimulus Tutorial.
There's a lot of hot air wafting through Congress right now as left and right battle over what kind of "Stimulus Package" provides the best stimulus. The GOP argues that tax cuts will do the trick; the Dems feel that direct government spending is the way to go.
First, let's hear from left-leaning Nobel economist Paul Krugman on where we are:
According to the CBO’s estimates, we’re facing an output shortfall of almost 14% of GDP over the next two years, or around $2 trillion. Others, such as Goldman Sachs, are even more pessimistic. So the original $800 billion plan was too small, especially because a substantial share consisted of tax cuts that probably would have added little to demand. The plan should have been at least 50% larger.
Now the centrists have shaved off $86 billion in spending — much of it among the most effective and most needed parts of the plan. In particular, aid to state governments, which are in desperate straits, is both fast — because it prevents spending cuts rather than having to start up new projects — and effective, because it would in fact be spent; plus state and local governments are cutting back on essentials, so the social value of this spending would be high.
The stimulus must be large, approximately $750 billion, equal to a little less than 5% of GDP ... The mix of tax cuts and spending boosts ... should be designed to provde both quick relief and a substantial boost to the struggling economy ...
Of course, Zandi wrote his piece a month ago, and the economy has continued to deteriorate. So what packs a bigger punch? Tax cuts or government spending. This Moody's chart -- also from Zandi -- is instructive.
Fiscal Bang For the Buck
One-year $ change in real GDP per dollar ($) reduction in federal tax revenue or increase in spending.
Non-refundable lump sum tax rebate: $1.02
Refundable Lump sum Tax Rebate: $1.26
Extend Unemployment Insurance Benefits: $1.64
Temporarily Increase Food Stamps: $1.73Increase Infrastructure Spending: $1.59
Me, I come down on the side of spending, because that's what is going to lift us out of this fetid trench and get us back on a growth track ... get people back to work. The data is pretty compelling. When you get two high-powered economists -- one a liberal and one an advisor to John McCain's recent presidential campaign -- in agreement about the stats, how could it be otherwise?