September 24th, 2008
06:46 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: The Numbers

Erica Hill
AC360° Correspondent

It IS the economy – you would truly have to be stupid not to know this. Yet, are we talking about the entire economy? Last night on 360º David Gergen mentioned jobs as one of the most important – and overlooked – areas of the economy. During the webcast, I asked him if the candidates were talking enough about jobs, and saying what you, the voters, want and need to here. He didn’t hesitate for a second. “No,” he said.

There are nearly 9.5 million Americans out of work – 600,000 jobs have been lost so far this year, and we still have three months to go.

Those of you working are likely finding your check doesn’t go as far as it used to. I swear the price of milk goes up weekly.

Why aren’t we hearing more about ways to not only keep the jobs Americans have, but to create new ones? When I was in Michigan recently, speaking with a group of female voters, the majority told me the economy was the most important issue. In a city like Detroit, where the auto industry seems to be hanging on for dear life, and in a state like Michigan which holds the dubious distinction of the state with the highest unemployment – nearly 9% – it’s also an issue that requires specifics. Could this new focus bring specifics from the candidates? Ahhh… if only I had a crystal ball. My Magic 8 ball isn’t much help.

Here’s what I do know: There’s not a lot of sympathy for the big payouts on Wall St. But it’s important to point out, it’s not just investment bankers feeling the force of the credit crisis. Could this financial fiasco mean more bad news for your job? Maybe… maybe not.

I also know there are some jobs out there, and jobs that pay a real salary.


Another way to make it through this messy time: use your noggin! Google wants to pay you $10 million for your best ideas. Who couldn’t use that bit o’ coin, even in the rosiest economy?

Here’s the deal: in celebration of its 10th anniversary, Google is offering $10 million  for fresh ideas with a broad and beneficial impact on people. The search giant announced the project live this morning on CNN.

I know, sounds a little vague. Truth is, the guidelines are vague. “Project 10^100” (pronounced "10 to the 100th") doesn’t have very specific parameters, although ideas that deal with issues like building communities, improving health, expanding access to education, helping the environment and promoting clean energy would be a good start toward that multi-million dollar prize. So fire up those neurons, and don’t forget the girl who told you about the $10 million when you win.

Filed under: Erica Hill • Erica's News Note
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Brian

    Is it just me, or is the government's rapid response to bailout a multi-national insurance corporation, but then allow thousands of your your average American families lose their jobs to outsourcing and their homes to foreclosure a major slap in the face? That doesn't sound very patriotic to me!

    September 24, 2008 at 9:52 pm |
  2. cookie JC, NJ

    I agree that the United States should help AIG out; but, I don't think it should be a rushed decision. I also feel that the country need to rethink the way we elect policial officials. I keep hearing this term "Bi-Partisan", why not put it to test; I feel that it may be a good idea to one day have a democratic president and a republician vice president. If we ae going to work for the betterment of this country we need to have people from different walks of life and with different ideas. Isn't that what made this country so unique, because of our different ideology and cultural differences. Last but not least, I feel that the mayor of New York, Bloomberg, could provide some sound strategies on how to get this country out of the financial crisis we are in.

    September 24, 2008 at 9:38 pm |
  3. Greg

    Erica, you should call your webcast "Project 1.8^10 and some change"

    September 24, 2008 at 8:33 pm |
  4. Ratna, New York, NY


    I am still confused about which jobs are affected the down fall of Wall Street. The rich living at Trump Residences along Hudson River still shop like crazy as if it's Christmas. The working class people living in my Upper Washington Heights neigborhood aren't complaining either, they shop on-line even harder (www.diapers.com is probably the most popular). So, it's all the middle class people who probably make about between 50.000 and 250.000 annually. Am I right? Is it still safe to work for Time Warner Cable?

    September 24, 2008 at 8:22 pm |
  5. EJ (USA)

    I am certainly looking forward to AC360 tonight.

    September 24, 2008 at 8:20 pm |
  6. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Hi Erica,
    Good Wednesday evening. I don't know how this meltdown will end, but I believe all the wise owl experts can't even agree on what to do. Their screeching at each other doesn't make us average Americans feel very calm. I better get my thinking cap on for that Google thing. Ten million? At least they still have ten million. Guess that's good.

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    September 24, 2008 at 8:13 pm |
  7. GF, Los Angeles

    The year is definitely not over and according to the interviews in the story – most of the layoffs were in the financial sector as it should be. With the selling and reselling of these subprime mortgages – failure was bound to happen. There are many ARM's that have not come to fruition yet so expect more madness to come.

    September 24, 2008 at 7:44 pm |
  8. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    People don't like it when I say this, but if government taxes and further screws over big businesses like Obama and other Dems propose to do, these businesses will take their money, their jobs, and their companies overseas. Then we will have even less jobs and more impoverished people for the taxpayers to take care of with our hard earned dollars. There has to be bipartisan compromise, and I find it sad that Obama can't suspend his campaign and the debate to head back to the Senate to take care of those who voted him into the office he currently holds. I feel real warm and fuzzy about him putting me first in a crisis if he wins the presidency.

    Maybe Google could pay someone the prize to figure out how to solve the economic crisis since Congress is acting like a bunch of spoiled 4-year olds again. At the rate they're going, we'll be in a depression and in line for our Thanksgiving turkeys.

    September 24, 2008 at 7:40 pm |
  9. Maureen, Newman California


    One way Obama will help to create jobs, is by eliminating the tax loopholes that give American companies incentive to move out of our country. Additionally, my sister works for Boeing. John McCain is currently "pulling strings" for his "friends" to attempt to give a huge military contract to Airbus in Europe. If McCain really cares about American jobs, why would he do this? Why wouldn't he try to help keep these contracts here in America?

    Obama has also said that numerous jobs will be created in the alternative energy industry.

    September 24, 2008 at 7:39 pm |
  10. Lilibeth

    Hi Erica, this is the worst I've seen the economy since I immigrated to the States. I have a feeling it's going to get worse before it gets better. I hope I'm wrong. See you later.

    September 24, 2008 at 7:39 pm |
  11. JC-Los Angeles

    Today's America is actually the day after 9/11; Greenspan and the Federal Reserve artificially propped up the economy for seven years which fueled massive real estate fraud, excessive employment numbers tied to the fraud and outlandish consumer spending levels.

    While our leaders and so many Americans chose not to tighten belts after 9/11, today, we are left no choice.

    Regarding outrageous executive compensation, Ed Rollins mentioned the other night that they had to pay top dollar to get someone good to run the companies: huh? say what? come again?
    after a $700 billion bailout, how can any executive or politician be construed as good?

    The guys in Guantanamo Bay have done less harm to our nation.

    Erica, keep up the great work.

    September 24, 2008 at 7:09 pm |
  12. EJ (USA)

    Thanks for the Google ideas tip, Erica. Being unemployed I have so many ideas running through my head. I guess now Google gets to hear them all.

    September 24, 2008 at 7:06 pm |
  13. Keith

    Those stats don't take into account the number of people who have given up trying to get a job and have fallen off the charts.

    September 24, 2008 at 6:49 pm |