Monday, February 22, 2010

And joblessness begat joblessness

- In New York City, there are 20 unemployed people competing for every job opening. "Mike Elmendorf, the New York State director for NFIB, told The Post...'A lack of credit is not the main reason why small business is not creating jobs and expanding -- it is a lack of sales, and a bad economy.' Hit by increased unemployment, many states are also hiking unemployment-insurance rates charged to businesses.

- Since no one goes to work anymore, no one stops for breakfast anymore. "The decline is also part of the broader trend of Americans eating more meals at home because of tough economic times. Food consulting firm Technomic last month lowered its annual forecast for restaurant sales to a drop of 1.6 percent, driven in part by weaker fast-food sales."

- And no one can have any fun: "For only the second time, Nevada casinos posted a loss – but this time it was the biggest...Clubs along the Las Vegas Strip, which makes up 53 percent of the gambling revenue in Nevada, registered a $4.1 billion loss...many of the casinos had three and four waves of layoffs to cut cost during this national recession."

- And it's not getting better. Wal-Mart "reported a 22% increase in profit for the fourth quarter but said an important measure of sales fell and cautioned that it expected a challenging start to the year for its U.S. business....Wal-Mart's results showed the continued strain on consumers as they contend with tough economic conditions....Wal-Mart Chief Executive Mike Duke said the retailer's results benefited from cost-cutting measures and more-efficient operations." Even Wal-Mart had to lay people off. Wal-Mart.

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