For next year’s SuperBowl, maybe the national anthem should be sung by Buckwheat.
54% of Verizon’s Android and Blackberry owners are “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to switch to iPhone? That seems high to me, especially given the cost to switch phone mid-contract — but time will tell.
But maybe not much time. Verizon just had its biggest launch ever with iPhone 4, even though first-week sales are limited to existing customers.
Jobs are growing! The unemployment rate is shrinking! But all is not well:
The economy added only 36,000 jobs in January — falling far short of expectations. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate sunk to 9%, down from 9.4% the month before.
Economists surveyed by CNNMoney were expecting the economy to add 149,000 jobs during the month, and the unemployment rate to rise to 9.5%.
If those numbers don’t seem to add up (“They expected higher unemployment with more jobs?”), maybe this will help explain the discrepancy:
The Labor Force Participation Rate declined to 64.2% in January (blue line). This is the lowest level since the early ’80s. (This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force. The participation rate is well below the 66% to 67% rate that was normal over the last 20 years.)
The jobless, in other words, are simply giving up. And if all that weren’t dismal enough, let’s go back to the first story’s conclusion:
The Labor Department also revised payroll numbers for 2010. Eight months were revised downward, by a combined total of 298,000 jobs. Four months were revised upward, adding 83,000 jobs to the 2010 tally.
Overall, there were 215,000 fewer jobs added in 2010 than previously reported.
The labor market typically needs at least 300,000 job gains each month to make a difference in the unemployment rate, economists say, and at least 150,000 to keep pace with population growth.
So how do we get out of this hole? Maybe like so:
The productivity of U.S. businesses climbed a seasonally adjusted 2.6% in the fourth quarter as labor costs fell again, according to the latest government data.
For all of 2010, the Labor Department reported that U.S. productivity grew 3.6%, marking the fastest increase in eight years.
The part of the economy that’s working, is really working. But the economy’s job-creation engine — entrepreneurs — has effectively Gone Galt, and no amount of string-pushing or dubious tax incentives are going to bring them back.
Charlie Martin thinks the interface is OK, but would like to look under the hood. Roger L. Simon seems to like the app, but finds the content lacking. And I think the whole thing is a hot mess.
Try it out yourself for free, and tell us what you think.
After a week, pro-Mubarak mobs are finally making their presence felt:
Thousands of supporters of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak besieged anti-government forces ensconced in Tahrir Square on Wednesday, leading to violent clashes and some injuries.
Pro-Mubarak forces tried to push their way into the square through numerous side streets and were met with, in some cases, cordons of peaceful protesters and, in others, by those throwing large chunks of stone or concrete.
A couple items of interest here, the first in the form of a question: It took a week for the regime to put together a counter-protest worthy of notice? That strikes me as either incompetence or complacency. Neither is a good sign for a country in need of China-size economic growth to get the unemployed into jobs and off the streets. Anyway — and this should come as no big shock — those counter-protestors might just be Army officers wearing civvies. Still: A week?
The second item is the Army itself. It appears to be doing the bare minimum. The generals can see the writing on the wall, I’m sure, but worry about keeping their mostly-political positions and, of course, about keeping all that US military aid. They know Mubarak is toast, but they don’t want to get hanged by the revolting peasants, either.
In any revolution, it’s the colonels you have to watch. They’re the ones who see room for advancement and have far less to lose. If they side with the protestors, then Mubarak is gone. THe thing to worry about is how many of the colonels are Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers.