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Recession round-up

Trust me, it’ll make you stronger in the long run.

Durable goods orders decline

The 2.6 percent drop was worse than economists had forecast, a Commerce Department report showed today in Washington. Excluding automobiles and aircraft, orders decreased 3.6 percent, also more than anticipated. The Labor Department said separately that the number of Americans collecting jobless benefits soared to a record 4.776 million.

Today’s reports reflect efforts by companies from General Motors Corp. to Caterpillar Inc. to downsize amid a pullback in both domestic spending and demand from overseas. The Federal Reserve yesterday warned that a prolonged global downturn may push the U.S. to the brink of deflation.

“Economic Tsunami” for job seekers

In all, more than 11 million U.S. workers are unemployed, a 48 percent jump from a year ago.

The numbers translate to roughly four job seekers for every one job opening in the United States, according to Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington-based think tank.

The grim job picture cuts across nearly every sector, she said. “There are literally millions of workers unemployed with no hope of finding a new job,” she said.

Time magazine checks in on how things are going in Peoria:

Many in Peoria are preparing for the worst. Pierre Serafin, co-owner of UFS, a discount store here, says customer foot traffic has remained steady, although average sales are down 10% from a year ago. Because fewer people are buying homes, there’s less of a need for appliances. The handful of folks buying refrigerators are trading down from stainless steel to the less expensive “stainless mist,” which, Serafin says, “looks almost like stainless steel.”

How many other P-town natives remember when that store was called Unclaimed Freight?

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Tom Mangan posted at 9:26 am January 29th, 2009 |

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