Category Archives: On the economy

No work, Long lines- Las largas filas de los desempleados

11:18 a.m. Only one man is shoveling the paperwork as the unemployment office line keeps growing. About 30 are ahead of me. Another guy comes over to help out. “New claims,” he hollers. A group hustle up to him. One,  an elderly Chinese man, seems confused. The second guy shakes his head and shoos him away. “We’re overwhelmed and understaffed,” he says. “The extension has us swamped.” The elderly man wanders among the desks and someone finally helps him.

At my turn, the guy behind the counter says I’m in the system but it’s backed up. Too many people. Oh well. No check this week.

Is this what’s happening in places where the numbers of jobless are high? Who are these people in line, waiting to sign up for more benefits? Why couldn’t they find a job before? And why do so many seem not to qualify? How many exactly?

Here’s one story that touches on this, but doesn’t take us there.

Down and out in Southwest Florida: Unemployment rates make a dramatic jump to historic highs

By Daily News staff and Associated Press reports

Originally published 10:27 a.m., August 15, 2008
Updated 10:07 p.m., August 15, 2008

— Out of work?

You’re not alone.

In July, jobless rates spiked again in Southwest Florida.

In Collier County, the unemployment rate jumped to 7.7 percent, up from 6.5 percent a month earlier and 5.3 percent a year ago, according to the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation.

In Lee County, it’s more bleak. The unemployment rate climbed to 8.4 percent last month, up from 7.6 percent in June and 5.1 percent a year ago.

Southwest Florida has been hit particularly hard because so many of its jobs were in construction, which has slowed to a crawl with a housing slump.

The state lost 79,200 construction jobs over the year.

“A lot of the retail stores have cut back hours and cut back on staff. Construction is still winding down more and more. We are definitely having a slowdown,” said Naples investment manager and financial advisor Robert Matheson.

Florida’s unemployment rate hit a 13-year high of 6.1 percent in July, up from 5.5 percent a month earlier and 4.1 percent a year ago. It was higher than the national rate of 5.7 percent.

Hendry County posted the highest unemployment rate in

from the LA Times,0,5368211.story?page=2

Immigration from morning to night – Inmigración – desde la mañana hasta la noche

women at the guatemala-mexico border

click on headline above for stories –

Here’s an outline of stories for foreign reporters-and reporters around the globe.

All boats sink together

6:04 p.m. Here in the heartland there’s a very tiny advantage to the disappearance of good middle class jobs and a lot else with it. The rich are not that much better off than the poor. The latest study of income inequality in the states by the two Washington-based think tanks makes this point. Not one Midwest state was among those with the greatest gaps between the rich and poor.

Here’s the study:


Hungrier Today than Yesterday

4:20 p.m. Niles. Ohio.  There’s no potatoes, no onions, no fresh vegetables, and half as many boxes of eggs as the families expected to come by the Second Harvest food pantry ran by the Pleasant Valley Church. But nobody waiting to pick up their food complains. Not the grandparents rising their children’s childen. Not the $10 an hour workers who can’t remember when they earned more. Not those poor so long they don’t expect more. Volunteer worker Sharon Ryzner, standing in the church kitchen, watches the food dwindle. “The bread’s almost gone,” she says.