online prescription solutions
online discount medstore
pills online
buy lorazepam without prescription
xanax for sale
buy xanax without prescription
buy ambien without prescription
ambien for sale
buy modafinil without prescription
buy phentermine without prescription
modafinil for sale
phentermine for sale
lorazepam for sale
buy lexotan without prescription
bromazepam for sale
xenical for sale
buy stilnox without prescription
valium for sale
buy prosom without prescription
buy mefenorex without prescription
buy sildenafil citrate without prescription
buy adipex-p without prescription
librium for sale
buy restoril without prescription
buy halazepam without prescription
cephalexin for sale
buy zoloft without prescription
buy renova without prescription
renova for sale
terbinafine for sale
dalmane for sale
buy lormetazepam without prescription
nobrium for sale
buy klonopin without prescription
priligy dapoxetine for sale
buy prednisone without prescription
buy aleram without prescription
buy flomax without prescription
imovane for sale
adipex-p for sale
buy niravam without prescription
seroquel for sale
carisoprodol for sale
buy deltasone without prescription
buy diazepam without prescription
zopiclone for sale
buy imitrex without prescription
testosterone anadoil for sale
buy provigil without prescription
sonata for sale
nimetazepam for sale
buy temazepam without prescription
buy xenical without prescription
buy famvir without prescription
buy seroquel without prescription
rivotril for sale
acyclovir for sale
loprazolam for sale
buy nimetazepam without prescription
buy prozac without prescription
mogadon for sale
viagra for sale
buy valium without prescription
lamisil for sale
camazepam for sale
zithromax for sale
buy clobazam without prescription
buy diflucan without prescription
modalert for sale
diflucan for sale
buy alertec without prescription
buy zyban without prescription
buy serax without prescription
buy medazepam without prescription
buy imovane without prescription
mefenorex for sale
lormetazepam for sale
prednisone for sale
ativan for sale
buy alprazolam without prescription
buy camazepam without prescription
buy nobrium without prescription
mazindol for sale
buy mazindol without prescription
buy mogadon without prescription
buy terbinafine without prescription
diazepam for sale
buy topamax without prescription
cialis for sale
buy tafil-xanor without prescription
buy librium without prescription
buy zithromax without prescription
retin-a for sale
buy lunesta without prescription
serax for sale
restoril for sale
stilnox for sale
lamotrigine for sale


President Obama speaks at an assembly plant in Toledo in June, one of seven trips to Ohio during his presidency.

The Midwest carried President Barack Obama to the White House in 2008. But when it comes to his re-election prospects in 2012, there are signs the president may have a more arduous task across the region.

Thirteen months away from the next presidential election, the president’s approval ratings have sunk. In Michigan, 65 percent of likely voters disapprove of the job he’s done. In Wisconsin, 51 percent disapprove. In Ohio, his 42 percent approval rating is the lowest of his tenure thus far.

In Pennsylvania, 54 percent of voters disapprove of his job. And in Indiana, which went for a Democrat in 2008 for the first time since 1964, Obama’s disapproval rating has ratcheted up to 60 percent. In 2010, Republican governors were elected in Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio.

Far from the hope of sweeping the region again, even safe Democratic strongholds now appear in play. His approval rating in Minnesota hovers just above 50 percent. Perhaps most ominously, voters in Obama’s home state of Illinois gave his former Senate seat to Republican Mark Kirk last year.

“So go the Great Lakes, so goes the country,” writes Brett M. Decker in The Washington Times today. “That’s bad news for Barack.”

One reason Midwestern voters are turning against Obama? Of the eight Midwestern states he won – comprising every state in the region – all eight have seen an increase in their unemployment rates since his election. Below is a state-by-state glance at unemployment rates from the time of the ’08 elections compared to those rates today. Numbers come courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

ILLINOIS
November 2008: 7.2 percent
August 2011: 9.9 percent

INDIANA
November 2008: 7.5 percent
August 2011: 8.7 percent

IOWA
November 2008: 4.8 percent
August 2011: 6.1 percent

MICHIGAN
November 2008: 9.9 percent
August 2011: 11.2 percent

MINNESOTA
November 2008: 6.3 percent
August 2011: 7.2 percent

OHIO
November 2008: 7.6 percent
August 2011: 9.1 percent

PENNSYLVANIA
November 2008: 6.2 percent
August 2011: 8.2 percent

WISCONSIN
November 2008: 5.9 percent
August 2011: 7.9 percent


Michigan’s unemployment rate rose above 11 percent in August, the first time it’s been above that mark since December 2010, according to data released Wednesday by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

The rate crept upward three-tenths of a percentage point to 11.2 percent, a symptom of economic stagnation across the country.

“In August, small job reductions in manufacturing and retail were countered by a modest job gain in construction,” Rick Waclawek, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, told the Detroit Free Press.

It’s the fourth consecutive month that Michigan’s unemployment rate has increased since reaching a 2011 low of 10.2 percent in April.  Despite Wednesday’s news, unemployment remains below the 12.2 percent rate of August 2010.

The jump comes amid more glum news for the nation’s labor market: on Wednesday, the U.S. Labor Department announced the number of people applying for unemployment benefits rose to its highest level in three months.

Applications climbed by approximately 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted rate of 428,000. The four-week average, a barometer seen as a more reliable measure of employment health, rose for the fourth consecutive week to 419,500. The Associated Press reports that applications need to fall below 375,000 to denote a level of hiring significant enough to lower the unemployment rate, but that level has not been seen since February.

Across the Midwest, unemployment were on the rise in states that had reported August numbers.

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate was 7.9 percent, an uptick from 7.8 percent in July. Despite the small increase, Wisconsin’s Secretary of the Department of Workforce Development said the state added 1,200 manufacturing jobs since July.

In Illinois, the unemployment rate shot up “sharply,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times, rising nearly half a percentage point to 9.9 percent in August. Unemployment numbers for August have yet to be reported in Ohio and Indiana.


Michigan’s unemployment rate rose above 11 percent in August, the first time it’s been above that mark since December 2010, according to data released Wednesday by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

The rate crept upward three-tenths of a percentage point to 11.2 percent, a symptom of economic stagnation across the country.

“In August, small job reductions in manufacturing and retail were countered by a modest job gain in construction,” Rick Waclawek, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, told the Detroit Free Press.

It’s the fourth consecutive month that Michigan’s unemployment rate has increased since reaching a 2011 low of 10.2 percent in April.  Despite Wednesday’s news, unemployment remains below the 12.2 percent rate of August 2010.

The jump comes amid more glum news for the nation’s labor market: on Wednesday, the U.S. Labor Department announced the number of people applying for unemployment benefits rose to its highest level in three months.

Applications climbed by approximately 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted rate of 428,000. The four-week average, a barometer seen as a more reliable measure of employment health, rose for the fourth consecutive week to 419,500. The Associated Press reports that applications need to fall below 375,000 to denote a level of hiring significant enough to lower the unemployment rate, but that level has not been seen since February.

Across the Midwest, unemployment were on the rise in states that had reported August numbers.

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate was 7.9 percent, an uptick from 7.8 percent in July. Despite the small increase, Wisconsin’s Secretary of the Department of Workforce Development said the state added 1,200 manufacturing jobs since July.

In Illinois, the unemployment rate shot up “sharply,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times, rising nearly half a percentage point to 9.9 percent in August. Unemployment numbers for August have yet to be reported in Ohio and Indiana.


It’s a truism of Wall Street that September and October often bring the sharpest downturns in financial markets. Given that pretext, it’s easy to understand why so many investors, government officials and unemployed workers are jittery about this week’s economic developments.

This perhaps marks a key stretch in shaping the direction of the nation’s economy.

On Wednesday, the Labor Department issued an encouraging report that companies advertised the most jobs in three years and slowed layoffs. Also on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve said in its latest beige book that economic activity in most parts of the U.S. has been sluggish and, in some regions, weakened considerably amid a manufacturing slowdown.

Those reports set the stage for President Obama’s prime-time speech Thursday night before a joint session of Congress, in which he’s expected to outline a $300 billion proposal that addresses the country’s 9.1 percent unemployment rate.

Officials familiar with the White House plans tell The Associated Press the president will propose a one-year extension of a payroll tax cut and an extension of expiring jobless benefits. Other possibilities include public works projects, tax credits for businesses that hire the unemployed and continuation of other tax breaks for businesses.

Our partner station WBEZ previewed Obama’s speech and what Americans might expect to hear – as well as the reactions that may follow.


Three stories making news across the Midwest today:

1. Job insecurity for Ohio’s teachers. Entering the school year, Cleveland Metropolitan Schools officials thought they had a $23 million surplus. But that was before the district accounted for the loss of 2,000 students from seven closed schools. Our partner station Ideastream reports that means a decrease in state funding and an increase in unpredictability for the district’s teachers, some of whom have faced layoffs multiple times in the past six months.

2. Illinois manufacturers are upbeat. Manufacturers in Illinois are more optimistic about the state of their industry than counterparts nationwide, according to a survey released Monday. Crain’s Chicago Business reports that 52 percent of Illinois companies polled were thriving or growing compared to 44 percent nationwide.  Sixty-four percent in Illinois said they planned to add to their workforce in the coming year, but 60 percent also fear a weak economy will slow their business.

3. One company’s trash, another’s treasure? Two Cleveland-based firms are using green technology to improve the efficiency of garbage trucks, and hopefully their profits. The Wall Street Journal reports today that Eaton Corp. and Parker Hannifin Corp. have designed rival hydraulic systems that could save on fuel, reduce pollution and brake wear. The technologies can be applied to other vehicles. The Journal also reports the two firms have engaged in some, ahem, trash talking, about their rival’s product.


Three stories making news across the Midwest today:

1. Labor report: No new jobs. Friday’s monthly report from the U.S. Labor Department showed that the nation’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.1 percent in August. Financial markets feared the report signaled a weakened recovery, and edged lower on the news. Approximately 14 million people were unemployed last month, and nearly 43 percent of them have been without work for six months or longer.

2. Americans narrowly support unions. Fifty-two percent of Americans approve of labor unions, according to a new Gallup poll reported by The New York Times. The rate was unchanged from a previous poll in 2010 and up four percentage points from 2009. The poll showed a sharp divide in how Republicans and Democrats viewed unions. In the poll of 1,008 adults, 78 percent of Democrats approved of unions while 26 percent of Republicans did, the lowest percentage ever for Republicans in an annual poll taken ever year since 1936.

3. Ohio politicians reach agreement. Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State and Cuyahoga County’s Democratic executive have reached a compromise on how the state will handle absentee ballots in two upcoming elections, according to The Columbus Dispatch. Secretary of State Jon Husted will mail applications to all 88 counties for next year’s presidential election, in exchange for Ed FitzGerald’s agreement to not mail them this year. “Through a productive exchange of ideas, we were able to develop a plan and achieve consensus to preserve the uniform standards I have sought statewide,” Husted said in a statement.


There’s an interesting chart buried in the latest economic forecast from the White House. It shows that the Obama administration is more optimistic on jobs than other Washington forecasters.

In the report, called the Mid-Season Review, the White House forecasts that unemployment will average 8.8 percent for 2011. (The July national unemployment rate was 9.1 percent.)

But the Congressional Budget Office is forecasting a 9.4 percent unemployment rate for the year, while the federal budget is based on a projection of 9.3 percent for 2011.

The forecasts by the White House were made in June and July, respectively, while the federal budget forecast dates back to last November.

For next year, the White House says it expects unemployment will drop to 8.3 percent. That’s also higher than the 8.4 percent forecast by the CBO, and the 8.6 percent unemployment rate that is forecast in the federal budget for 2012.

All the forecasts see unemployment dropping below 8 percent in 2013. But if you consider full employment to be about 6 percent unemployment, nobody expects to see that happen until the middle of this decade.

Says the report, “The unemployment rate is projected to average
8.8 percent in 2011, slightly below its level in July. Unemployment is projected to decline slowly because of the moderate pace of expected real GDP growth and because, as labor market conditions improve, discouraged workers rejoin the labor force, adding temporarily
to unemployment. With continued growth, the unemployment rate is projected to fall, but it is not projected to fall below 6.0 percent until 2016.

President Obama will be in Detroit this coming Monday for Labor Day events, and he’s scheduled to speak to a joint session of Congress next Thursday on a jobs program.

 


GTJ's Frank Oliver clears out a foreclosed home in Roseville, Michigan. Photo by Kate Davidson

Foreclosure activity dropped by more than a third this past year, according to the group RealtyTrac. But despite the national slowdown, regional companies that take care of foreclosed homes are still thriving. Their job is to keep empty houses clean and safe from the forces that depress local property values: squatters, thieves and decay. Dawn Hammontree probably never expected to see their work firsthand.

 

 

The first part of Hammontree’s story is familiar in Michigan. Her unemployment ran out in December.

“Got the foreclosure notice in March. Which is very scary,” she said.

Hammontree used to work for a property-tax firm that did business with the Big Three automakers. They took a hit. She was laid off. She says that for the next three years, she sent out 60 resumes a week. She was desperate to keep a roof over her son’s head.

By January, Dawn Hammontree couldn't pay her mortgage. She got the foreclosure notice in March. Photo by Kate Davidson

“I felt like I was being sucked into a black hole,” she said. “I had trouble sleeping. Wasn’t eating well. Just a general feeling of despair and despondency.”

Then, just three days before her time was up, Dawn Hammontree’s bank agreed to a trial mortgage modification. She’d finally found a job. And the one place she could get in … well…

“The job that saved my house from foreclosure is working for a company that maintains and preserves foreclosed homes,” she said. “It’s been three months that I’ve been there and I have not gotten over the irony of this. I chuckle whenever I think about it. We’re not short of work.”

Foreclosure rates may be generally falling, but you wouldn’t know it in the trenches.

Brandon Johnson runs a property preservation company called GTJ Consulting. We’re walking through a single family home in Roseville, Michigan. Yesterday was the eviction.

Today is the “trash out.” Johnson’s crew removes debris so the bank can eventually resell the house. Garbage bags fill up with the remnants of family life. A volleyball net. A rubber spatula. Children’s drawings. A little yellow book called “Toilet Training in Less Than a Day.”

Brandon Johnson made a business out of maintaining foreclosed properties. Photo by Kate Davidson

Though their overall foreclosure rates fell, Michigan, Ohio and Illinois were among the ten states with the most foreclosure actions last month, according to RealtyTrac. The firm includes everything from default notices to bank repossessions in its count. In Illinois, that final stage of foreclosure — bank repossession — actually increased 20 percent from June.

Johnson says it’s been bad enough in Michigan that he sometimes sees houses two or three times.

“The same home,” he said. “We’ve come in; we’ve cleaned it out; we’ve cleaned it up; we’ve maintained it. It’s sold. And then 24 months later, we’re right back to the same house again. It’s mind boggling. It really is.”

When Johnson started the company ten years ago, it was just him and his dad. Now they have two offices, 120 full-time employees and a network of contractors who change locks, mow lawns and winterize pipes, among other things. A few years ago, the Johnsons started a foundation to give away items left behind in foreclosed homes.

GTJ isn’t the only expanding business in the field. In December, the group Safeguard Properties was recognized as the fastest-growing company in Northeast Ohio with net sales of more than 100 million dollars. They’re up to 900 employees. The company’s founder says business is still increasing.

Back in Eastpointe, Michigan, Dawn Hammontree sits in the kitchen that’s still hers for now. She’s profoundly grateful. But she says there’s no guarantee it won’t all fall apart again tomorrow.

“I’ve got this great job,” she said. “I love the job. I love the people I work with. And I know, now, there’s no such thing as security.”

This story is informed by the Public Insight Network.


Three stories making news across the Midwest today:

1. Ohio’s unemployment rate rises. Employers in Ohio added more jobs in July, but the state’s unemployment rate nonetheless inched upward 0.2 percent to 9 percent overall, the Columbus Dispatch reported Friday. It’s the second consecutive month the figure has climbed. A separate survey showed Buckeye state manufacturers added 7,900 jobs in July. Ohio wasn’t the only state to see an unemployment climb. Earlier this week, Michigan’s unemployment rate jumped 0.4 points to 10.9 percent in July.

2. Chicago casino’s path clearer. “I cannot continue to have Hammond, Indiana, get $20 million a month while our infrastructure is crumbling.” That’s how Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel explains his transition from a position of reluctance to now embracing the idea of a Chicago casino. CBS Chicago says the mayor believes he and Illinois governor Pat Quinn can iron out differences in casino plans. The Illinois state senate still has a hold on a bill that paves the way for the casino and other state gambling.

3. Michigan governor seeks court ruling. Gov. Rick Snyder has asked the Michigan Supreme Court to quickly address the constitutionality of legislation he signed earlier this year that allows emergency managers to take over financially troubled communities and school districts. Opponents of the law who filed a class-action lawsuit in Ingham County earlier this year called Snyder’s move an attempt to “bypass the judicial system,” according to the Detroit Free Press.


On a three-day bus tour through the Midwest this week, President Obama expressed confidence the region’s fragile economy would show gradual improvement over the next year.

Depending on the vantage point, that has different meanings.

In Iowa, the unemployment rate hovered at 6.0 percent in June,” a rate that “is much higher than Iowans are comfortable with,” said David Swenson, who teaches economics at Iowa State University, during a roundtable discussion Wednesday on PBS News Hour.

In Michigan, such a figure would be cause for relief. The state holds the Midwest’s highest current unemployment rate at 10.5 percent. It also endured the region’s highest peak unemployment rate, reaching 14.1 percent in September 2009.

The loss of manufacturing jobs has been a significant theme in Michigan and Ohio, where the unemployment rate hovered at 8.8 percent in June. Agriculture has protected the economies of the western Midwest state to some extent. But now, manufacturing losses have spread to places like Minnesota and Iowa, two of the three states Obama visited.

“Manufacturing is a big component of the Iowa economy,” Swenson said. “We know that manufacturing has taken an extra-special hit.”

Though unemployment rates differ by as much as 4.5 percentage points throughout Midwestern states, one common thread is that all are leery of a recent uptick in their rates following declines over the past year-and-a-half. Minnesota’s rate crept upward to 6.7 percent in June after reaching a low of 6.5 percent two months earlier. Illinois’ rate stood at 9.2 in June after falling to 8.8 percent in March.

“People say that manufacturing is coming back, and it is coming back to a certain extent, but there are still jobs being lost,” Micki Maynard, senior editor of Changing Gears, said on the NewsHour segment.

“You need a bulk of jobs to come back and replace the jobs that were lost,” she said. “There was something like 500,000 jobs lost in Michigan alone during this recession, and there really aren’t the magic bullets that are going to create those thousands of jobs that can come back, so those people can go back to work.”