December 5th, 2008
12:25 PM ET

Jobs gone, home values down – "almost homeless"

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

The employment report for November is out and it’s a shocker: 533,000 jobs lost - the largest monthly job loss total since December 1974. That’s far more than the 325,000 we were expecting. That brings the total number of jobs lost so far this year to 1.9 million.

The numbers for September and October were also revised higher, which means two-thirds of this year's job losses have occurred in the last three months. And that three-month payroll loss of 1.2 million makes it the worst three-month streak in nearly 34 years (Dec ’74 to Feb ’74). The unemployment rate, meanwhile, rose to 6.7% from 6.5% in October.

Stocks are down sharply after the employment report..the Dow down more than 200 points for now.

The CEOs of Detroit’s Big Three return to Capitol Hill this morning. This time around they’ll appear before the House Financial Services Committee to make their case for a larger bailout than they asked for just two weeks ago. On Thursday, the executives – along with UAW President Ron Gettelfinger - generally faced less hostility from members of the Senate Banking Committee than they did at their last hearing, but they still heard a lot of tough questions and the bailout push clearly faces an uphill battle for approval.

Plummeting car sales have forced Honda Motor to pull out of Formula One racing, a move that could save the troubled automaker hundreds of millions of dollars, the company said today. While five automakers remain in the Formula One competition, the highest level of open-wheel auto racing, the departure of Japan's No. 2 car company raises speculation that others could follow. Earlier this week, the CEO of rival racing league NASCAR warned sponsorship revenue will grow at a slower rate next year, or even decline, as the professional stock car racing circuit gets hit by the economic slowdown and hard times in the auto industry.

Ask most Americans whether they're in favor of spending taxpayer dollars to help delinquent mortgage borrowers and you're likely to get an emphatic "No!" But the government didn't ask its citizens before it committed hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars - and now there’s the possibility that some of the money allocated for the Treasury's Troubled Assets Relief Program will go towards bailing out borrowers. And as CNNMoney.com reports, taxpayers are mad.

Home values dropped 17% in the third quarter compared with the same period in 2007, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. At the same time, property tax collections across the USA rose 3.1%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Gas prices fell 1.6 cents to $1.773 a gallon. That’s the 79th consecutive decrease. According to AAA, the last time the national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was near the current price was January 10, 2005, when the national average was $1.772. 3 states have regular unleaded gas prices of $2 and higher. 47 states and the District of Columbia have regular unleaded gas prices below $2.

Crude oil is holding steady this morning, after dropping more than $3 on Thursday to a 4-year low of $43.67 a barrel

China and the United States, the world’s biggest producers of greenhouse gases, are pledging more cooperation on energy and the environment. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson wrapped up his final round of economic talks with China in Beijing today. Seven new eco-friendly partnerships were signed during the Strategic Economic Dialogue. But in less than seven weeks, a new administration takes over. President-elect Barack Obama has promised a bold new energy plan for America. Can he deliver?

Back in New York, it's not always easy to see the impact of financial crisis yet. But on one East Side street corner in Manhattan you can. Paul Nawrocki, a 30-year veteran of toy industry, is wearing a “sandwich board ad” sign around his body which states "almost homeless" and lists his job qualifications. He was laid off in February. Nawrocki commutes 60 miles into Manhattan and advertises himself for a job resume at hand. His wife has major health problems and his daughter student loans. It’s no fun being an unemployed during the holidays and time standing on a freezing street corner with a sign around you, asking for a job.

Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Bailout Turmoil • Economy • Gas Prices • Housing Market • Job Market
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Phil

    My wife needs a heart transplant and is kept alive by an implanted defibrillator. I lost my $140K per year hi tech job exactly a year ago. Our savings are gone and because the company want under, there was no COBRA and I had to pay $2000 month in premiums & copays. Unemployment isn't enough to pay for the medical, let alone renting in Northern California. Bank account overdraw, cards cancelled. We were choosing between meds and food and lost medical last week. We have a 3-day notice, I just got a job offer but its for a hi-tech sweat-shop owned by Indians and paying Americans slave wages with no benefits. It may not keep us in our apartment, but may help find insurance. However, I don't know any that will cover her pre-existing condition now that it's lapsed. I worry she will die and I've failed my family. Underemployment still may not save us from the Santa Clara County shelter full of American engineers and IT workers. We live in daily fear. Is this what America has come to?

    December 6, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  2. Joanne, Solvay, NY

    Now the middle class is homeless? The system is truly broken.

    December 5, 2008 at 7:59 pm |
  3. Babak Shoushtari, DMD

    Dear Anderson

    I am writing you this letter because everyday I see the condition of our economy deteriorating and its seems that something drastic has to be done. I, like many others, believe that the root cause of our financial mess is the housing crisis.

    I have a solution to our housing crisis that can resolve it without increasing the national debt and borrowing from foreign governments. I am writing you, many other members of the media, and many members of Congress and the new Obama administration about my solution, hoping that one of you will first read my letter, second think about, and then lead an effort to modify if necessary and implement it and get us out of the mess we are in. I, myself, am a naturalized US citizen who immigrated to this country more than 22 years. I have been very blessed and grateful for all that this country has offered me. I graduated with honors from Harvard School of Dental Medicine and am a practicing Endodontist in La Jolla.

    What Americans and US politicians don't realize is that the best thing America has going for it is being America. People from ALL over the world would love to live in America. The problem is that it is very difficult to immigrate to America. My proposal involves making that easier for people who are willing to invest in real-estate here. Individuals or families would have to invest a total of 1 million dollars, a minimum of $500,000 in real-estate and the balance in five year or longer T-Bills or CDs in American Banks. In return, they would get a provisional five year permanent residency, and after five years if they have maintained the above criteria would get full permanent residence (not Citizenship). At that time they can apply for citizenship.

    This is different than the existing investment residence and visas that are offered. People would actually buy a home, that they can live in or rent thus reducing the number of foreclosures and stabilizing prices and would place in US bank or Treasury, thus increasing liquidity. There are millions of people around the world that would apply for such a program so we have to figure out a number that would eliminate the foreclosure crisis and bring the housing market back to a healthy state. The number would probably be in the millions. If such a program were to be implemented, just the psychological effect that millions of wealthy foreigners will be lining up to buy American homes, will have an immediate positive effect.

    Why not allow rich foreigners who love the idea of America and living in America to invest here instead of increasing the debt and borrowing from foreign governments.

    Unfortunately I am not a politician or in the media so my hope is that someone will spread and promote this idea and make changes to so it will work.

    I thank you for reading this email. God bless America!

    December 5, 2008 at 7:54 pm |
  4. Sandra L. Reed Ohio

    Americans have never suffered this much, as a People. We expected nothing less than terrorist could plunder and strong-arm us with threats of economic ruin unless we bail them out of their greedy mess.
    The homeless, the unemployed and even the under- employed have always been with us, a part of prosaic America. Now, almost everybody is hurting in some way and those who are least accustomed to doing without, suffer the loudest.

    Change was never supposed to be easy. That promise was never inferred. Most of us expected it, while others figured that "yes, it will hurt, but not us". It's uncanny to see America's power-mongers scared and brought low. When that, which had seemed just another dark cloud on the financial horizon turns into the mess we have today.

    December 5, 2008 at 7:47 pm |
  5. Carter

    Sandwich board signs! So much for the internet revolution! We've gone all the way back to 1929. I think people will look back and see that this stock market and real estate debacle all started with the death of Keath Ledger back in January, but at least we can put our faith in Obama.

    December 5, 2008 at 7:26 pm |
  6. Chris

    I fear that soon there will be millions of empty homes across the country and there will be millions of people walking the streets next to those empty homes with nowhere to live. At age 52 and having supported myself all of my adult life, I would have never imagined I might be one of the people without a home.

    December 5, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  7. Vikram Patel

    Comparison of how the White house and congress is tackling financial industry crisis versus auto industry illustrates the power of capitalism, make the rich richer and suck the poor. It is absolutely clear that the White house and Paulson are not at all competent. Therefore, congress must not release a dime from the remaining $350 billion TARP money to the current administration. There is no justification to release this when you do not know what they did with the first $350 billion given to them in October.Second, there has to be 6 month moratorium on home foreclosures throughout the U.S.

    December 5, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  8. Nicole

    Hugh, great point!!!

    December 5, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  9. hugh ~ california

    My heart goes out to the homeless. There are not enough shelters in our country, which I believe is shameful. At the very least, the federal government could provide shelter in the cold winter months so people don't freeze to death. I would be willing to pay a bit more in taxes to help the homeless. I know, people are always complaining about higher taxes, but build a lot less bombs and lower the defense budget. If Americans don't have the heart to help the homeless, what makes us so great? I think we as a country can do better.
    "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." JFK

    December 5, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  10. LEE

    This is a very hard time for alot of people, this time of year is the worst, I think a big problem is the greed there is in the world. One example is the fuel prices, I'm a selfemployed owner operator with my own truck and i'm still wondering why diesel fuel is one dollar a gallon more then gasoline and is a secondary product, and why is diesel 265 a gallon in michigan and oil is 42 dollars a barrel why is the price so high when oil is down, now to me this sounds like we are being taken advantage of, everyone is so involved in the economy that they really haven't bothered with the fuel prices. I think this is one example of what is going on with the economy and how people are being used for there money. thank you and have a great holiday. Lee hickmott

    December 5, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  11. katie

    So what happens when our 401ks fizzle down to nothing and an entire generation is about to retire with an empty nest egg ? The nest egg they worked their entire lives for ? I want to see heads roll ,the polititians and idiots on wall street that participated in this rape of America.............we are all in shock, now, just wait till the anger sets in ! By the way,give those auto-makers the money,at least they will make a great product, save an AMERICAN company (gee-isnt that a novel idea) and keep AMERICANS working in this country.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  12. Lisa

    By the time I got my Stimulus check, it was only for $120 – that's not going to infuse much into the economy.

    I was out of work for 6 weeks. I took a job at Linen N Things until they close just to have some money. Minimum wage ain't much to live on. Wages are down but my bills are still at their levels. Luckily, another opportunity has arisen at the same time so I'm working 2 jobs for the next few weeks.

    What government tends to do (and, sorry, Republicans mostly because they are the party of the more wealthy and business) is to "trickle down" and work top down. They can help all these companies out all they want, but if I'm not working or have to take a lower pay I still won't have the money to buy things and keep our economy going. They need to change paradigms and think about working from the bottom up. Give the money to us, the buying public – whether it be a large cash infusion (not $300-600) or by mandating lending institutions drop everyone's interest rates (credit cards, mortgages, loans) to 3-5% for the next 5-7 years (banks, et al. will still make a profit as they are only paying a 1% interest rate on money they borrow) and put some money back into our pockets. If I'm paying 5% interest (and paying down my debt faster) rather than 25-30%, it puts money into my pocket to spend - and this won't cost the tax payers a dime!

    The government can bail out the Big 3 (and these other companies) but if I can't afford to buy the car or buy the product, does it matter?

    December 5, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  13. JC- Los Angeles

    When people claim that the horrid state of our economy is unbelieveable, I correct them by stating it's completely believable yet unfathomable.

    Since 9/11, our nation has been artificially propped up by egegious interest rate cuts, Greenspanian hyperbole, 100% pure uncut American fraud and no oversight whatsoever.

    When the inmates run the asylum, today's America is the end result; the connected few saw Obama coming and became modern day robber barons and pirates; they looted everything in sight and exchanged self respect for cold hard cash; pathetic.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  14. Fran

    I work for a County Transfer station, we take trash then haul it to a
    landfill. We have been watching a steady decline in trash for several
    months which was telling us things were looking bleak. If you don't have money to spend you are not throwing things away. If there be a bright side to our economic down turn it is apparently helping to save our planet less trash in the landfill etc. Reuse what you have not out of any sense of "green" but because it may be all you will have.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  15. Michael Odegard

    Keep in mind these jobless numbers are conservative estimates. In Oregon, where I'm from, you can't get unemployment if you quit or are fired with just cause. The unemployment numbers which are talked about on the news are ONLY for those who are applying for unemployment insurance and don't reflect our real unemployment, not to mention the homeless. When you factor in the homeless, the unemployed not covered by unemployment insurance, those who make their living through crime or by "under the table" labor to the people who are filing for unemployment, then you get the REAL unemployment–which has to be greater than what the media reports on.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  16. earle,woodstock,vt

    I feel your pain, but Paulson, and the rest of Wall Street Cronies love it. I've never seen a bad" Unemployment (HIgh Numbers) Report" that didn't get the greedy Banker's and Broker's on "Wall Street" salvitating, and throwing high-fives to celebrate knowing that theres no inflation, and Joe six-pack, and Theresa the homemaker/part-time waitress won't be getting any pay raises soon! I'd even like to predict that the markets finish up today to confirm my beliefs!

    December 5, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  17. Dale Mcfadden

    I watch CNN all the time even though I am from Canada.Like many Americans I have lost my job to. The company that I worked for was US owned They pulled out and moved operations to Mexico where they pay their new employees about 1 dollar hour. I have hardly seen anything on CNN on how this adds to the massive job loses in my country and yours.At those wages how many in Mexico are buying new cars/big screen TVs/new homes not many.Now that we have lost our jobs to them I guess we won't be buying ether Thank you I hope to see or here something in one of your reports/////Dale Mcfadden

    December 5, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  18. john dubya

    I thought it surprising in spring that our "conservative" president endorsed a $160B stimulus plan in early 2008, and now see it didn't do anything for the economy and housing, banking and jobs are worse than in 40 years! My point is the Republican administration must have seen this coming and really hoped that dinky cash infusion would delay the inevitable problems we have until AFTER the recent election. My point is not that this is totally Bush's fault, (80%) but that there must have been signs of serious financial trouble for him to be able to justify the $600 cash per person rebate. Administration officials knew we were in deep doo-doo and just wanted to win the election. The only way to win election was to keep the economy out of the lime light and focus on fear, terror and trust/experience.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:21 pm |
  19. Melissa, Los Angeles

    @ Pastor Zig do you realize how hard it is to buy anything "Made in the USA"? Go to any mall or store and you will have a very hard time in finding anything that's made here. We've shot ourselves in our own foot by wanting to pay hardly anything for products and services. The only way to achieve that is by importing cheap products from countries – mainly China and outsourcing jobs so that companies here can make a larger profit each year. No longer are the days that people are willing to wait and save to buy a product or service nor are companies happy with just a profit – they want to beat each year with an increase in profits and reduction in expenses to the point we've cheaped out our jobs to 3rd world countries and have plunged ourselves into ridiculous debt that we cannot pay back.

    December 5, 2008 at 1:14 pm |

    Our Nation is under serious stress right now. I truly hope that when our new President takes office . That he will use this opportunity to speak to our Nation. While doing so use the vast number of people he had following him and wanting that change. Talk to those people ! And really stress how important it is for "US" Americans to really band together right now. Start supporting Our own RIGHT HERE IN AMERICA. START BUYING AMERICAN MADE PRODUCTS,CARS,SHOPPING STORES WITH AMERICA MADE PRODUCTS. I feel if We all really pulled together as a nation and started to do this we would see a big difference in ALL OUR PROBLEMS . Such as Economy,Jobs, Housing, Etc.this all goes hand in hand. And if our new President was the one standing there saying Hey this is what we need to do as a Nation. I really hope and pray many people would listen. Yes some things are going to cost a little more. However if we are all purchasing here and working here .The economy Will Grow. Please Put this Out Any where possible So that maybe President Elect Obama sees this and considers this for adding into his plan in some fashion for his speech . PEACE AND PRAYERS PASTOR ZIG RIDGWAY ,PA

    December 5, 2008 at 12:58 pm |
  21. Cindy

    We are all "almost homeless". I am one of the over 500,000 employees who lost their job in November and I do not see anything out there that even compares to what I was making for the last 13 years. What is left of my 401k is shrinking on a daily basis and I will have to live off of my retirement and unemployment for as long as I can until they both run out. I feel that my future is hopeless... The job market in my state is one of the lowest in the nation. With unemployment being one of the highest. For someone who is over 50 years old I guess I might as well shoot myself and get it over with. Why delay the inevitable? I never thought I would see the economy get like this. My mom lived through the great depression and was always frugal even when she did not have to be. I guess I should have paid closer attention.

    December 5, 2008 at 12:47 pm |
  22. Cindy

    It doesn't surprise me that so many jobs were lost. If we don't help the Big 3 it'll be way worse than what people think!! Job loses will sky rocket just from the Big 3 failures and the companies that rely on them, then add in the other job loses not related to that and we'll be in a depression for sure!


    December 5, 2008 at 12:40 pm |