Friday, May 8, 2009

Hell in a bucket!

Greetings good citizen,

Much of tonight’s offering comes from The Automatic Earth . If not for aggregators like Some Assembly Required and The automatic Earth, I’d miss half of this stuff! (And I turn over a fair number of web sites on my own hunting for sources.)

That said, our first article comes from the MSM…

Bright Spot in Downturn: New Hiring Is Robust
Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times

Published: May 5, 2009

Everyone knows the grim news — unemployment in the United States has jumped to 8.5 percent, a 25-year high, and is racing toward double digits. Since November, the nation has lost more than three million jobs.

But not everyone knows the brighter side to the equation: deep in the maw of the deepest recession since the Great Depression, millions are still being hired. [Yes good citizen, I selected this article because it is another disingenuous ‘fluff piece’ of the variety Limbaugh and his ilk might latch onto.]

So, while 4.8 million workers were laid off or chose to leave their jobs in February, employers across the country hired 4.3 million workers that month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The best thing you can say about these numbers is it speaks to the dynamism of the U.S. economy, and the net negative number that we all traffic in masks that,” said Robert J. Barbera, chief economist at ITG, a research and trading firm. “Ninety out of 100 people who know the number — 650,000 were lost in February — think that means no one was hired and 650,000 were fired.” [Well Bubba, how the hell do you explain ongoing unemployment claims hit a record high this month? Or that there are next to no jobs in the newspapers? Naturally, he doesn’t.]

In February — before the economy started to show the first faint signs of a possible recovery — there were three million job openings nationwide. And despite large new job losses likely to be announced Friday, there are still millions of job openings.
[Ah yes, those ‘perpetual job openings’ that nobody qualifies for so they are never erased from the online job listings...worse, most of them are listed multiple times because the list is ‘rolled over’ every week or two.]

Who is hiring? Hospitals, colleges, discount stores, restaurants and municipal public works departments. I.B.M. is hiring more than 700 people for its new technical services center in Dubuque, Iowa, while the Cleveland Clinic has 500 job openings, not just for nurses but also for pharmacy aides and physical therapists. And after President Obama’s stimulus package kicks into gear, state, local governments and road-building contractors are expected to hire more.

Zachary Schaefer has hired 72 people since February for the Culver’s hamburger and frozen custard restaurant that he and several partners just opened in Surprise, Ariz.

“The amount of applicants who are qualified is definitely up,” he said. “Whereas before we were counting on a lot of high school applicants, now there are a lot more middle-age people applying.” [Yep, them jobs are just growing on trees when folks that used to earn $30 to $40 thousand a year are lining up for jobs that pay minimum wage if they’re lucky. (Many restaurant employees aren’t covered by minimum wage laws because they are considered ‘tip compensated’.)]

Eddie Hamm, a former construction worker, was unemployed for five months when he drove by the site where the Culver’s was under construction. Mr. Hamm, 29, applied for a job there, and now he’s a “fry guy.”

“I’m just happy I got hired — I didn’t want to stay home, not doing anything,” he said, hardly complaining that he is earning half the $15 an hour he made in construction. “I don’t look at it like I’m making $7.50. I look at it — I’m having a job in a down time, and it’s a job where I can move up.” [How do you suppose this is effecting the economy good citizen? Mr. Hamm now earns half of what he used to earn so he can only spend half of what he used to spend...but he can 'grow into’ the job…maybe make ‘shift supervisor’ an get $9.00 an hour!]

Economists and job counselors advise the unemployed that there are definitely jobs to be had, even if there aren’t nearly enough to go around. With 13.2 million people out of work, there are 4 1/3 unemployed Americans for every job opening. “You’re facing more competition for every job you apply for, but the reality is there is a lot of hiring going on,” said Andrew M. Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University. “You’re never going to find anything unless you apply.” [The ‘Director’ of labor studies…you can bet this asshole isn’t making minimum wage yet he expects you to accept it! There are two things about accepting minimum wage work, one is you’re considered ‘expendable’ there are a hundred people waiting to take the job from you because it is ‘entry level, unskilled work’. AND if you accept minimum wage work, it reduces the time you have to spend looking for more suitable, better compensated work.]

Even industries that have taken a beating are doing plenty of hiring. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction companies hired 366,000 workers in February, and manufacturers hired 249,000. Retailers hired 536,000 workers in February, but that was down 25 percent from the previous February. [They aren’t ‘building’ spit good citizen so the outrageous claim that the construction industry has hired a quarter of a million workers comes straight form the totally fictitious ‘Birth/Death model that has proven to be scandalously wrong! Worse, if Construction is hiring, why is Mr. Hamm dunking French fries?]

Some job openings are to replace retirees, some to replace employees who left for other jobs, but many openings result from expansion. Companies that are still growing are blessed with talented applicants.

“It’s easier to hire in a recession — we have about five applications for every position,” said Howard Glickberg, principal owner of Fairway Market, the well-known grocery company based in Manhattan.

Fairway just hired 350 people for its month-old store in Paramus, N.J., the first Fairway outside of New York State. The company plans to add 1,200 more workers over the next two years by opening stores in Queens; Pelham Manor, N.Y.; and Stamford, Conn. [Naturally good citizen, 250 of those jobs are part-time, minimum wage…]

“What you have to be afraid of is hiring someone who can’t find something better at the time, and when they find something better they leave you,” Mr. Glickberg said. “I want to hire someone who will make a career of it.”

The nation’s largest private-sector employer, Wal-Mart Stores, is also hiring aplenty. Wal-Mart, with 1.4 million workers nationwide, hires several hundred thousand workers each year because of employee turnover, and expects to increase its domestic work force by nearly 50,000 this year, thanks to plans to open 150 new stores. [New stores that are proven to exterminate jobs across the local economy!]

Shawnalyn Conner is running a hiring center for a Wal-Mart store that will open on June 17 in Weaverville, N.C., near Asheville. She plans to hire 350 workers. [Again, mostly part time, no benefits jobs…]

“The biggest comment that we get from people is that they’re looking for a company that’s growing, and Wal-Mart offers that,” said Ms. Conner, who, as the top manager of the new store, has hired 77 people so far. Gisel Ruiz, senior vice president for the people division of Wal-Mart U.S., said the company had a hiring program for former junior military officers, often for jobs as assistant store managers. With many veterans having a hard time landing jobs, Wal-Mart hired 150 former officers last year. [You don’t suppose we have found the source of Wal-Mart’s high turnover rate, do you?]

The health care industry has held its own in hiring. The University of Miami medical school, which runs three hospitals, has 250 openings and is hiring about 35 people a month, compared with 100 a month in good times. Cleveland Clinic has 500 job openings, compared with 2,000 during better times.

“We have a hiring freeze on, but even when there’s a hiring freeze, we need to maintain our head count,” said Joe Patrnchak , Cleveland Clinic’s chief human resources officer. “We have 40,000 people, and you’re going to have some openings.”[Um, how anxious are you to work for someone that considers you ‘headcount’?]

He is encountering an unusual snag in hiring people. “A challenge we have now is people from other areas are having problems selling their homes,” Mr. Patrnchak said. “People aren’t quite as mobile nowadays.” [No kidding…]

The University of Miami medical school is also facing an unexpected problem. “There’s a flood of applicants, but even so, it’s harder to find really good, experienced people,” said Paul Hudgins, its associate vice president for medical human resources. “We’re seeing people hunkering down and saying they’re going to stay where they are.”

The recession has encouraged people to cling to their jobs. Just 1.5 percent of workers voluntarily quit their jobs in February, the lowest level since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began collecting those numbers eight years ago. [Which speaks volumes about the ‘quality’ of the opportunities out there! People chase dollars and if the dollars aren’t there, what’s the point?]

Like many educational institutions, Washington University in St. Louis continues to hire. It has 175 job openings in admissions, residential life and other areas. There is a flood of job applicants, and Ann Prenatt, vice chancellor for human resources, said that has pros and cons, the advantage being that the university does not have to offer large premiums as often to draw coveted applicants.

It’s best to confront the worst lie/blatant display of ignorance directly as we have all seen how the birth/death model has been used to distort the true unemployment numbers

Robert J. Barbera, chief economist at ITG, a research and trading firm. “Ninety out of 100 people who know the number — 650,000 were lost in February — think that means no one was hired and 650,000 were fired.”
No Bob, you’re as wrong as you could be because ‘new claims’ have been averaging 450,000 a WEEK for the PAST DECADE . We haven’t once seen a monthly figure in excess of a million jobs (which is what the weekly totals would add up to if his ‘baseless assertion’ had any truth to it!

In counterpoint to the above ‘drivel’ we have this article…

Homeward bound tonight I listened to ‘Timmy’ explain how the newly released stress tests were going to allow the banking sector to get back to the business of banking…

The banks are ‘mended’ and we have nothing to worry about…
Except… this article, one I have refrained from writing although I agree with its findings. [Okay, I think he’s still a little too optimistic.]

If you need confirmation of the above stories dire predictions Federal aid is top revenue for states here it is.

In a historic first, Uncle Sam has supplanted sales, property and income taxes as the biggest source of revenue for state and local governments. The shift shows how deeply the recession is cutting. Federal stimulus money aimed at reviving the economy and a sharp drop in tax collections have altered, at least temporarily, the traditional balance of how states, cities, counties and schools pay for their operations. The sales tax had been the No. 1 source of state and local revenue since the mid-1970s, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Before that, property taxes were the primary source. That changed in the first three months of 2009.

Federal grants — early stimulus money plus conventional federal aid — soared 15% in the first quarter to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $437 billion, eclipsing sales taxes, which fell 2%. The dominance of federal money is set to expand dramatically this year because tax collections are sinking while the bulk of federal stimulus aid is just starting to arrive. "This money isn't manna from heaven. It comes with a price," says Indiana state Sen. Jim Buck, a Republican. He worries that the federal money will leave states under greater federal control and burden future generations with debt. Nick Johnson, a state finance expert at the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, says the federal aid is well-timed. "This has more to say about the severity of the recession than anything else," he says. "Congress stepped in on a temporary basis to help states."

In an economy that is bleeding jobs that pay more than minimum wage, how long do you suppose the near bankrupt Federal Government can keep on shoring up State budgets before hyper-inflation kicks in?

We don’t have this money good citizen and if Zimbabwe proves anything, it takes ever-greater amounts of ‘funny money’ to keep the Ponzi Scheme rolling.

Okay, for our final piece tonight we have this disturbing video/report that redefines the traditional game ‘cops & robbers’….or what do you do when the cops ARE the robbers? In this case, you can’t complain to the DA’s office…

Can you say ‘hell in a bucket’ baby? I knew you could!

I’ll leave you digest this now,

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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