Coming Soon: Jobs!
Like some gothic serial novelist, the Bureau of Labor Statistics delivers another chapter of the same grim tale on the first Friday of every month. In October, the unemployment rate spiked to 10.2 percent, the highest since April 1983. Since December 2007, payroll employment has fallen by 7.3 million jobs. The ratio of unemployed workers to job openings is 6.1 to 1; in December 2007, it was 1.7 to 1. But some recent data points, and an understanding of the behavior of companies at different phases of the business cycle, suggest we’ll have job creation sooner rather than later. (Continue Reading…)
Richest dead celebrity: Bob Marley
Is reggae superstar Bob Marley bigger than Jesus? That’s debatable, but the music legend who died 28 years ago is about to challenge Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson for the title of richest dead celebrity. Toronto-based private-equity firm Hilco Consumer Capital has struck a management deal with the Marley estate, which is expected to generate worldwide annual sales in excess of $1 billion by 2012. That seems like a huge number, but by some estimates the Marley name, sound, and image already generate as much as $600 million in pirated merchandise. “Marley is a strong global brand,” says Mickey Goodman, a professional marketer and professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business. “He enjoys a high level of awareness, and people feel positive about his music.” (Continue Reading…)
US gas prices dip as drivers cut back
U.S. average gasoline prices dropped by more than 3 cents per gallon in the past two weeks as the slumping job market takes its toll on consumers, according to a nationwide survey out Sunday. The latest Lundberg Survey, compiled Friday, saw the average price of self-serve regular at $2.65, down 3.6 cents from the November 6 report, publisher Trilby Lundberg said. Part of that comes from a slight dip in crude oil prices — but most of it can be attributed to a 10 percent unemployment rate, she said. (Continue Reading…)
Gaps for consumers in Democrat health care bills
For consumers, the health care bills taking final shape in Congress don’t rate close to a perfect 10. The Democratic measures would leave 12 million or more eligible Americans uninsured. Many middle-class families who’d now be required to buy coverage would still find the premiums a stretch, even with government aid. A new federal fund to provide temporary coverage for people with health problems would quickly run out of cash. For now, these bread-and-butter concerns take a back seat to more pressing issues for Democratic lawmakers trying to deliver on President Barack Obama’s signature issue. (Continue Reading…)
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