Thursday, January 08, 2009

Bad News

Of all the bad news on the job front we've posted here on the Astron blog over the past year, none really seems to be as damning as this one (click here) from Reuters which says that small businesses are now aggressively cutting payrolls in the face of the poor holiday shopping season. Long a bastion of hope, small businesses were thought to be quite secluded from the large job cuts that have gone on due to many factors including the lack of public scrutiny of their finances, their seeming distance from the interconnectivity of the larger corporate world, the ability of small businesses to absorb a few bad months, and the fact that cutting jobs can often be a matter of firing a relative or a friend who has been with the company for years (among other reasons).
A report on Wednesday showed private sector job losses of 693,000 in December, far greater than economists had expected. Small businesses accounted for an unusually large 40 percent of the decline, according to the figures from ADP Employer Services and Macroeconomic Advisers. (click here)
These small businesses are one of the biggest sources of non-government jobs in the U.S. making this data particularly worrisome. Let's hope this changes soon or things will continue to get worse.
Also in the news...
Reuters also says the the U.S. economic reports shows that the poor have been hit extremely hard by this financial crisis according to the Congressional Budget Office: click here
Yahoo! Finance says that U.S. companies are facing a $409 billion pension deficit: click here
Lastly, the Wall Street Journal says that even Wal-Mart has cut it's earnings outlook amidst this economic downturn: click here

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