(UPDATE NOTE: New economic data released, see below!)
The Democrats are finally going after McCain's jugular. That is, his economic policies. Oh sure, we all know he's Mister War, and that is one of his weak links too. But the economy, in particular the jobs situation, that will help propel Barack Obama into the White House.
The DNC responds to McCain's Jobs First campaign restart.
The Democratic National Committee finally released their response to John Airbus McCain's reboot of his half-ass presidential campaign under a "Jobs First" theme. But slightly off topic for just a brief second, can anyone tell me how the hell this man hasn't even been replaced by Cheney yet with someone else?? Shit, Viagra whore, Bob Dole, ran a better campaign than this! Ok, back on topic.
The first part of this is a new website dubbed McCainpedia (like Wikipedia, only they replaced that cool globe thingy with John McCain's grouchy mug). McCainpedia looks as if there still needs work to be done. The second part is a video that does the takes his jobs speech and his reboot and well shows how it's all the same shtick.
Frankly, I hope this is a true start on attacking this guy on the economy. With reports now on layoffs, and gas approaching $6 (yeah, you read that right), everyone needs to remember which party lead us to this economic disaster. America's Tories will try and say its Nancy Pelosi's fault, or the environmentalists. Like a gambling addict being confronted by his bookies on where's their money, the Right will have an excuse or someone to blame for their shortcoming.
Last week's jobs report
As noted in last Friday's diary posting, employers cut 62,000 jobs. Not good news, folks, another month of job losses. And yet John Stossel tells us we ain't in a recession? Gimme a break!
July 3 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. employers cut jobs for a sixth straight month and service industries shrank in June, signaling that the economic slowdown may deepen as the impact of federal tax rebates fades.
Payrolls fell by 62,000 after a 62,000 drop in May that was greater than first reported, the Labor Department said today in Washington. The unemployment rate held at 5.5 percent after soaring the most in two decades in May. The Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index sank to a five-month low.
- excerpt from "U.S. Economy: Employers Cut Payrolls for Sixth Month", Bloomberg.com
So why bring this up now? Ain't this old news, Venom? No, because in our next segment you'll see that what we saw could only be the beginning.
GM considering a new wave of layoffs and eliminating some brands
This morning, the Wall Street Journal reported that GM may possibly eliminate or sell several of the company's brands. This will entail a series of job cuts across the company. For example, the company is looking to ditch Hummer, what with the current energy crisis, their models are simply not selling. A new owner may not wish to keep the same workforce.
DETROIT -- Bruised by a deep sales slump and a half-century-low in its stock price, General Motors Corp. is preparing to cut thousands more white-collar jobs and is considering whether it should sell or shutter more of its brands, people familiar with the matter said.
Both moves are part of a broader re-evaluation of GM's strategy and of its ability to meet an internal projection of returning to profitability in 2010, these people said.
- excerpt from "GM Weighs More Layoffs, Sale of Brands", WSJ.com
Brands considered to be jettisoned by the company are Saab, Saturn, Hummer, among others. As you read in the excerpt, a good chunk of the jobs on the chopping block this time are white-collar ones. Now, I'm no car expert, but getting rid of engineers and such leads me to believe that GM is leaving a lot of the industry behind (in a bad way). The cash crunch has gotten so severe, that one suspects that perhaps they will not be able to maintain longer term liabilities such has pensions and healthcare for these folks. God only knows whats going to happen to the blue-collar workforce. I feel for them all, and will weep if the day comes when we stop making our own automobiles.
The Conference Board released it's latest Employment Trends Index (ETI). June's reading is -.06% This in addition to May's -.05% shows the economy is sinking even further. For those who are not aware, the Conference Board is not-for-profit organization whose members are made up of business executives from around the world The Employment Trends Index is a reading of a several employment studies put together by non-government institutions. What's interesting about the ETI, is that it is free from political bias, as the various indicators created by the Conference Board are used to measure economic health for business decisions.
If you have a chance, please take a look at their latest readings. Below is their take on the latest finding. There is more, and they have other indices that take jobs into account that I wish the government did!
The Conference Board's Employment Trends Index (ETI)™ fell again in June, continuing a decline that began in July 2007 and suggesting more job losses in the coming months. The index fell by 0.6 percent in June to 111.9 from 112.6 in May and is down 8 percent since July 2007.
"Most leading indicators of employment point to an even sharper deterioration in the labor market in the months ahead," said Gad Levanon, senior economist at The Conference Board. "The steep decline of the employment trends index in recent months, and the fact that its weakness is spread throughout all of its components, does not leave much room for optimism."
- excerpt from Conference Board's site.
Numbers to Watch for this Week:
Monday, July 7, 2008
Jun Conference Board Employment Trends Index Jul 7: Previous: -0.5%.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
May Wholesale Trade: Previous: +1.3%.
May Pending Home Sales Index: Expected: -2.8%. Previous: +6.3%.
May Consumer Credit: Expected: +$7B. Previous: +$8.9B.
ABC/Wash Post Consumer Conf For Jul 6: Previous: 43.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Initial Jobless Claims For Jul 5 Week: Expected: +6K. Previous: +16K.
Friday, July 11, 2008
May Trade Balance: Expected: $62.7B. Previous: $60.90B.
Jun Import Prices: Expected: +2%. Previous: +2.3%.
Jun Federal Budget: