Friday, November 02, 2012

All eyes on today's October employment report

The federal government's monthly employment report, to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET, is the most closely watched barometer of the nation's economic health -- by consumers, investors and corporations.

Just two weeks ago, for example, CEO Gracia Martore reminded media stock analysts that newspaper advertising in the most recent quarter continued to be hit by weak job growth.

The labor market's impact wasn't limited to advertising. Gannett-controlled employment site CareerBuilder, which is a big driver of GCI's digital operations, contended with the "anemic" job market through product innovations, Martore said.

For today's employment report, economists surveyed by MarketWatch are looking for about 120,000 more jobs in October, with the unemployment rate ticking back up to 7.9% from 7.8%, according to the financial news site.

The report often drives stock prices. Since the U.S. Labor Department published the last one, on Oct. 5, Gannett's stock has fallen 6% from $18.41, closing yesterday at $17.26 a share. That was worse than the S&P 500's 2.3% decline during the same period, according to Google Finance data.

To be sure, the October report will get even greater scrutiny because it's the last one before Tuesday's presidential election, when many voters are ranking the economy as their No. 1 concern.


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  3. I was looking through some of my old reporting clips recently. The Tampa Tribune had a Monday business tabloid. In 1998, the typical issue was about 40 pages and had 20+ pages of employment classifieds. This was for the No. 2 newspaper in a two-newspaper town.

    Now the Tribune has been sold for less than the value of its land and buildings; the new owners immediately announced plans to cut staff and pay from from a work force that is already half the size it was 15 years ago.

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  5. @9:00 AM – Did you miss California failing to turn in their number with the last report? Fact is acts like those are why some like 8:11 AM feel like they do. And, in all seriousness, it’s hard to blame them as today’s mainstream media did little, if anything to report that omission which further reinforces that it seems more interested in furthering its own agendas than in bringing the truth to light. Pathetic.

  6. Companies like Gannett are partly responsible for the economic conditions in this country during the last four years. While perhaps some layoffs were necessary, many weren't. The recession was used as cover in order for Gannett to increase its profit margins and stock value. The company was never in the red.

    The dishonesty of the massive layoffs is further seen in the fact that practically none of the laid off employees -- many who were well-qualified and would have returned to work (even for less money) -- were rehired. If these were economic-driven layoffs, then by now, some folks should have been brought back. In fact, like a lot of companies, Gannett refuses to fill in any of the holes they created in the workforce, which means many folks are working like dogs to keep this lousy company running.

    We're not as stupid as Gannett likes to believe. We know that if Gannett and USA Today can make more money with fewer people -- regardless of how badly those fewer people are treated -- they will not have any motivation to hire. In essence, this is a big reason why the economy isn't improving as fast as it should. It's big companies like Gannett that are causing the problem by sitting on growing piles of profits, while continuing to mistreat employees.

    But what goes around comes around. There will be a time when the economy does improve. And when people have options to move from job to job, they will leave Gannett and USA Today. They will not forget how horrible this company was, and how it treated its employees when times were tough.

    So saving a few bucks during the recession will probably cause Gannett a ton of problems in the next 10 years.

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  8. OK, Jim, try this --

    11:09, no advertising gets purchased when companies can't predict their costs, due to so much economic chaos. And disrupting major parts of the economy is chaotic.

    No advertising, no profits, no jobs.

  9. Great post 11:09 a.m.

  10. @447 That's one shallow view of things, I guess. If you factor in the $37 million bonus boy, the extraordinary amount of other bonuses, the furloughs, the price of film festival trips and tables at White House correspondent banquets, the cost of new logos, the hyper-hiring of new vice presidents and other upper management padding, the cuts in benefits, the failure to support the technology, training, travel, research, and other requirements of good journalism, the loss of space and baffling refusal to use online capacity, then add the toll constant stress takes on those who remain, well ... that would add a bit more context.
    @1109 gets it.

  11. 12:47, if you had a business, you wouldn't hire anyone in this economy.

    All these rich Obama supporters -- how many have they hired?

    Zip. Nada.

    You want to be a victim -- OK, you are. Get in line for food stamps.

  12. And GCI? No one reads USAT -- dull, dull, dull.

    GCI pension fund is about three clicks from a federal takeover. Look out below!

  13. @812 Not a victim. Not a Kool-Aid drinker either. Is it tasty?
    Lame use of assets during a downturn/industry shift only multiplies the pain of a poor economy and cripples recovery efforts. GCI = Exhibit A. Yes, it's still here, thanks to the blood money it sucked from those now in its trash heap and continues to suck from those who remain. But make a list of expenditures while those layoffs and furloughs and cutbacks were under way. Evaluate the benefit brought to the company. The day of reckoning won't be fun for those who planned that strategy, approved it, executed it. But at least they're riding through this storm warm, dry and plugged in to all the latest gadgets. They probably sleep well, too. You know what they say about ignorance....

  14. 12:47, so you've never had a business and never had to hire anyone. It shows.

    G.D. GCI? Why hasn't the CFO quit a few boards? And be at par w/NYT?


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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