As I’ve been saying in various conversations with people for the last 6 months or so, my biggest concern regarding a recovery in job growth is this:
The economy has been able to grow even without adding workers because employers have found ways to accomplish more with fewer workers. Productivity grew at a robust rate of 8.1 percent in the third quarter of 2009, the most recent data available.
My thought is that continued high productivity numbers will keep many companies from hiring en masse. Output is up so much with current personnel. Why take on new salaries? And until consumers are back in force (Ed. - not anytime soon), the demand isn’t there to ramp up output through a new round of hiring. CapEx spending will continue to be the next wave in the short term.
See the full article here for an analysis of the GDP numbers (they’re always revised down), a disclaimer on the effects of tighter inventory management, exports and the cheap dollar.