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NEW claims for unemployment climb to highest in 6 years

Darn it, CNN made this national story into a partially California story by putting a link to a video of California’s governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, cutting California state jobs to force action on a long-overdue (>1 month) state budget, on the page. (Note added August 18, 2008: Make that “almost two months” without a state budget!) Although I like to keep the overall tone of this blog POSITIVE, sometimes stories are too important to ignore.

The number of NEWLY laid off workers who signed up for jobless benefits last week climbed by a seasonally adjusted 7000 to 455,000 for the week that ended August 2. This increase was worse than analysts predicted (which shows you how “plugged in” THEY are, right? :-) ). Analysts had predicted that NEW claims would drop to around 430,000. Companies have continued to cut back the numbers of their employees, given the faltering economy.

Last week, the unemployment rate jumped to a 6-year high of 5.7%, according to CNN. (Note added August 18, 2008: This is the NATIONAL figure. The July unemployment figure for California was 7.3%, a 12-year high!) Employers have cut jobs every month so far this year, and the CNN article speculates that the unemployment rate could reach 6.5% by mid-2009 (about the time that the MBA student author from Harvard Business School, who suggested that up to 42% of U.S. jobs are “offshorable,” will be graduating from school :-) ), since economists expect another 500,000 jobs to be eliminated this year. In fairness, legal requirements governing corporations can sometimes force their decisions concerning layoffs, but somewhere along the line, people, corporations, other businesses, and governmental entities need to take responsibility in turning this situation around.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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