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Americans Receiving Jobless Benefits Reach Record 4.99 Million

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  • Americans Receiving Jobless Benefits Reach Record 4.99 Million

    Americans Receiving Jobless Benefits Reach Record 4.99 Million
    By Bob Willis

    Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) -- The number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits jumped to 4.99 million two weeks ago, breaking a record for a fourth straight time, signaling the job market is still deteriorating.

    Total benefit rolls surged by 170,000 in the week ended Feb. 7, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. First-time applications for unemployment benefits were unchanged at 627,000 last week, higher than economists projected.

    General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC this week announced an additional 50,000 workers would be cut from payrolls as crumbling demand for autos deepens a recession now in its second year. President Barack Obama is counting on the $787 billion stimulus plan he signed into law this week to create or save 3.5 million jobs and stem the slump in spending.

    ``The labor market is under a considerable amount of stress,'' Jeffrey Roach, chief economist at Horizon Investments in Charlotte, North Carolina, said before the report. ``A weakening job market portends a weakening retail market. Spending will continue to subtract from growth this quarter.''

    Prices paid to U.S. producers rose in January for the first time in six months as fuel costs climbed, another Labor report showed. The 0.8 percent increase in wholesale costs was higher than forecast and followed a percent 1.9 decline in December. Over the last 12 months, producer prices fell 1 percent, the biggest year-over-year decline since 2006.

    Economists forecast claims would fall to 620,000 from a previously reported 623,000, according to the median forecast of 39 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Projections ranged from 590,000 to 660,000.

    Most Since 1982

    The four-week moving average of claims, a less volatile measure, rose to 619,000 last week, the highest level since November 1982, from 608,500 the previous week.

    The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits, which tends to track the U.S. jobless rate, climbed to 3.7 percent in the week ended Feb. 7, from 3.6 percent a week earlier.

    Thirty-two states and territories had an increase in new claims for the week ended Feb. 7, while 21 reported a decrease.

    U.S. companies in January sacked 598,000 workers, the most since December 1974, the Labor Department said Feb. 6. The U.S. has lost 3.6 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007. The jobless rate climbed last month to a 16-year high of 7.6 percent.

    The world's largest economy will contract 2 percent this year, according to projections in a Bloomberg News survey taken Feb. 2 to Feb. 10. The drop was a half percentage point more than estimated in January. The unemployment rate may climb to 8.8 percent this year, according to the poll.

    Auto Firings

    GM, the largest U.S. automaker, will cut about 47,000 more jobs worldwide as it sheds brands and seeks as much as $16.6 billion in new loans to avoid bankruptcy, the Detroit-based automaker said this week. Chrysler, propped up like GM with federal assistance, said it's seeking $5 billion more from the government and will shed 3,000 more positions.

    ``We have continued to see an unprecedented decline in the automotive sector,'' Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Robert Nardelli said in a briefing with reporters. ``The focus of this company for the last two years and going forward is going to be to right-size for the marketplace and the realities of the economy.''

    The reductions are reverberating through the industry. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., the largest U.S. tiremaker, yesterday said it posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $330 million and plans to cut almost 5,000 jobs. The Akron, Ohio-based company said it eliminated 4,000 jobs and imposed a salary freeze in the second half of last year.

    To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Willis in Washington at [email protected]

    Last Updated: February 19, 2009 08:30 EST

  • #2
    How mant NEW cars do we need anyhow???Look around in your 'hood and see how many folks are selling USED cars.I really don't think we need any more new cars.All of our scrap junk cars are being sent to China and coming back as things that fill the shelves at Wal-Mart.Why not put these folks to work refurbishing the cars we already have??
    I drive a 1989 nissan truck with over 300k miles on it.Does it look good??NO
    does it run good??Yes,and is as dependable as it was new.Did I buy it new??NO
    I would never buy a foreign car NEW.I think those who do support communism and are really not concerned with the entire infastructure of the USA.The same goes for thse who shop at Wal-mart..yeah you!!
    I'll bet my ass if you couldn't buy Toyotas,Nissans Suzuki,Kia,VW,Lexus..ect.,we would have no problems with job cuts in the auto industy.
    The same goes with Chinese crap at the dollar stores,Wal-Mart.ect.
    If noone bought this CRAP we could have jobs and a thriving nation.
    If we stop now you will probably see a mushroom cloud coming to a town near you.
    Thank you and have a nice day!!
    Hug a communist maybe he wont torture you too long!!


    • #3
      SD, I agree with most of what you posted, except the hugging of a communist. :p

      Catch 22: "A situation in which a desired outcome or solution is impossible to attain because of a set of inherently illogical rules or conditions".

      The more people who are laid off, the less spending people will do. This will eventually result in more people being laid off. In the end, you've got nobody working because there are no jobs selling anything to anyone because nobody has a job to earn money to buy anything.

      This is a little story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

      There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

      Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

      Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody's job.

      Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it.

      It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done
      "Reject the basic assumptions of civilization, especially the importance of material possessions." "The things you own end up owning you"-Tyler Durden