Thursday, July 02, 2009

U.S. Unemployment Rate 9.5%...

... which is little changed from the previous month of May. 467,000 jobs were lost in the month of June with the largest losses coming in the manufacturing industry, as well as in the professional,construction, and the business services industry.
The unemployed stands at 14.7 million persons as of June 2009.

In June, unemployment rates for the major worker groups--adult men
(10.0 percent), adult women (7.6 percent), teenagers (24.0 percent),
whites (8.7 percent), blacks (14.7 percent), and Hispanics (12.2 per-
cent)--showed little change. The unemployment rate for Asians was
8.2 percent, not seasonally adjusted.
Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who com-
pleted temporary jobs (9.6 million) was little changed in June after
increasing by an average of 615,000 per month during the first 5 months
of this year.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or
more) increased by 433,000 over the month to 4.4 million.In June, 3
in 10 unemployed persons were jobless for 27 weeks or more.

Friday is the third of July,so that means that our 4th of July holiday weekend is beginning. Many businesses will be closed or they will be having short work days. I am no exception. There will be no new postings at this site until Monday, the 6th.
Have a great and safe holiday everyone!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

State Of The Economy II: Tampa Florida...

...and it got just a little bit worse for those low income, hourly workers today. This would be concerning the new Florida excise tax on cigarettes which went into effect on July 1,2009. Another blow to smokers and tobacco dealers everywhere.
Yesterday I wrote that I would be introducing you to some of the cast of character's who actually have to resort to all kinds of tricks in order to feed themselves since the work environment here in Tampa is the pits. That will have to wait for another day.
The state of Florida has added an excise tax of $1 to each pack of cigarettes sold in the state.Rolling tobacco such as "Tops" and "Bugler" are also hit by this tax.So why is the state doing this? The excuse as of last week was that the state has to come up with the cash somewhere because the state's tax revenues are down. The state is not making any money so let's just raise smoker taxes and fuck them even more!
The better off will grumble and grip about the increase, and a few may even decide that it is time to quit. Those who are not so well off will feel the increase the most. Granted, some will opt to give up the habit. Great for them!
This tax increase will definitely be a burden to those who are working at the minimum wage level. Let's look at the price increases on a few brands of smokes.
"Remington" brand of little cigars. This brand is the low-budget, generic brand of smokes that anyone could afford, whether homeless or not. This is the last resort brand for smokers in the Tampa area. The price per pack on June 30,$1. Price on July 1,$2.25 at one nearby store.
"Winston" brand from RJ Reynolds, my personal favorite. June 30,$3.89 per pack. July 1,$4.99. "Marlboro"? Forget about it! June 30,$4.89 per pack. July 1,$5.99.
This is at a store in my neighborhood. I have seen some selling for as much as $6.99. This is ridiculous! Tampa has a bad enough problem with folks getting robbed by crack-heads and other druggies, not to mention people who just plain need the money. I'm wondering how long that it will take before we are getting held up for cigarette money or the smokes themselves.
Though I now believe that smoking is not so good for the person, the state should not be placing the cost of their ineptitude on the lower-wage workers who just happen to smoke.
As an after thought, I should note that Cigars are exempt from the excise tax. I would guess that since most cigar smokers are just a little bit better off than most of us, it just wouldn't be fair to tax them along with you and I.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

State Of The Economy: Tampa Florida ( Continued )

Maybe I should clarify a few things before continuing on with this topic.
When dealing with the " state of the economy " here in Tampa Florida, I am talking about the economy of the hourly worker. I'm not concerning myself with salaried workers at this time because they seem to be not suffering as much as the hourly employee is.
I am also concerning myself with those hourly workers who now happen to be living on the streets behind some building, or who are sleeping in cars, Salvation Army centers, or other homeless shelters, ect.
Many of you readers will think of the homeless as that group of people who are to lazy to work or who are either drug addicts or alcoholics. While it is true that a few of the individuals that I have hung out with are one or both, most are actually hard-working and have ended up on the streets because they could no longer afford to live the way in which they were accostumed to living, because of company downsizing or whatever.
So. Are we all on the same page now? I hope so, because the reader is about to get educated on how life is in the world of reality. Stay tuned folks because this could very well be you in our currant economy, and in that which is still to come.
Tomorrow you will meet a few of the players in this saga, and in the days to follow I will take you out with them in their daily struggles to find even temporary work in order to put food in their mouths.

Monday, June 29, 2009

State Of The Economy: Tampa Florida...

...and it is not a pretty picture here in the " sunshine state."
It is reported that the unemployment rate here in the Tampa area is 10.2%, while the state's rate is at 10.6%. These numbers would be higher if not for the fact that many of the unemployed have left the state in droves and this trend is continuing.
I lived here back in the late early 2000's, and things have certainly gone downhill since my last stay as compared to this currant stay. In 2000, you could walk into a temporary service or a day labor service and you'd be working the very next day, if not the same day. That ain't gonna happen again anytime soon. I walked into a temp service which I use to frequent in the past, and I sat in the place everyday for a week before I was finally sent out on a job. An eight hour day? Not hardly. It was a half-day of work. Thus far this June, I've logged in 54 hours of work. For the record, I've shown up at the office every day looking for something.
Thus far while making my rounds, I've discovered that there isn't much work in my particular field, which would be "data recovery" or "data extraction" depending on who wants the work completed for them.
So what has my work consisted of? Funny that you should ask! 90% of the jobs which I have completed have been dealing with moving. Basically, unloading furniture out of moving vans and carrying the stuff into the homes of the new owners. Some of these have been apartments, which has required carrying the belongings up two or three flights of stairs. No easy task, especially in this hot Florida heat and humidity. Pay-rate? How about 8 dollars an hour? Not very much in this day and age. There is a bright side though. I've gotten some great tips from not only the home-owners, but from the van drivers as well. Throw in the tips, and the hourly rate averages something like $33.50. Now if I could just manage to get two of those per day. I have managed to unload these trucks in under three hours in most cases, which does help make the money look better. ( continued )

Latest E. coli O157:H7 News...

...As of Thursday, June 25, 2009, 69 persons infected with a strain of E. coli O157:H7 with a particular DNA fingerprint have been reported from 29 states.
Ill persons range in age from 2 to 65 years; however, 64% are less than 19 years old; 73% are female. Thirty-four persons have been hospitalized, 9 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS); none have died.
A newer update will be out at around 9 pm eastern time, and it will be posted at this site.
Also, as you can still see, I am still not able to get my freakin' links to display as they are supposed to. Anyone have any ideas?