Michigan’s governor signed a bill into law that will cut unemployment benefits by six weeks — bad news for would-be workers in a state that’s been marred in 10.4 percent unemployment.
It used to be that getting a real estate license was the fallback career change du jour, then after the housing market collapsed it seemed everyone was going to law school.
The stock market and gross domestic product may say the recession is over, but as long as the unemployment rate hovers near double-digits, it’s tough to believe things are going well. A report on the retail industry reveals businesses are set to improve the job market with strong expansion plans this year.
At any given moment, the Las Vegas Strip is strewn with gown-wearing brides and unshaven grooms with befuddled, what-have-I-done looks on their faces. But tough economic times have brought the population of these leap-before-you-lookers down to its lowest level since 1993.
In a bold offer that speaks volumes about Detroit’s housing market as well as its state of public safety, the city’s mayor has offered to provide homes for as little as $1,000 to police and firefighters.
A year from now, you may be driving a little bit farther and waiting in longer lines to do your mail-related business. The USPS set a goal to shut down 2,000 branches and stations in 2011. No post offices are on the chopping block, but the new cuts are in addition to nearly 500 closures that are all ready in the works. The locations under threat of closure are smaller satellite offices that don’t process mail and sometimes don’t have mail carriers.
The jobless aren’t the only ones who are suffering during the economic downturn. Many of those who lose their jobs and find new ones take significant pay cuts, with little hope of reclaiming their former income levels.
Best Buy is reportedly snipping the white ties of hundreds of agents, shutting down seven of its 16 Geek Squad service centers.
Henry and his wife went broke, then worked out a payment plan with Citibank to settle their debt. The idea was to be proactive in order to avoid harassment about bills they couldn’t afford.
With 96 percent of the top 500 American corporations turning profits this year and stock prices soaring to the highest levels since the recession began, you’d think you’d start to see a dent in that near double-digit unemployment rate. But that’s not so, partially because companies are boosting their bottom lines by moving toward outsourcing.
If your wallet is feeling a bit lighter these days, it’s probably because you’ve done your part over the past few weeks to give the retail sector a needed boost. Holiday spending in the 50 days before Christmas this year was up 5.5 percent over 2009, which yielded a 4 percent increase over 2008.
If your pay rate has been frozen for the last couple years, take heart — you’re doing better than the average paycheck slave. Total American wages dropped 3.2 percent in 2009, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which pins part of the blame on manufacturing and construction industries.
Yahoo apparently never planned on selling Delicious along with the rest of its under-performing initiatives. Contrary to a leaked slide that indicates Delicious is headed to a “sunset,” along with AltaVista and Buzz, the sunset of Delicious will be one with a possible sunrise to follow. Yahoo wants to sell the site, and it’s ticked at the press for causing people to think any different.
Several hundred Yahoo employees received the opposite of a Christmas present this week, learning the company is letting them go to ease its payroll burden. In addition to shedding 4 percent of its workforce, the shrinking web giant is shutting down AltaVista, Buzz and Delicious — according to an internal company slide.
Unless Congress acts quickly, unemployment benefits will stop cold for 2 million Americans who have been jobless for 99 weeks. Benefits have already been extended well past normal lengths, but if no other extension comes, the loss of income will make the holidays sting that much harder for people unable to find work for nearly two years.
No one plans to get canned, but in this climate it’s foolish not to come up with a contingency plan if your boss decides to give you a permanent long weekend.
The Grim Reaper of the recession harvested Rich’s door and screen company, leaving him with unpaid debts. Then the real nightmare began. Bank of America seized his elderly mother’s life savings to pay off Rich’s line of credit because she had added Rich’s name to the account to protect the funds in case she became incapacitated.