Program Note: Be sure to tune in tonight to watch Tom Foreman report on the how some people are struggling with the economic downturn on AC360° at 10pm ET.
President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday said Congress must take "dramatic action" on his economic aid package as soon as possible, warning that a failure to do so would have devastating long-term consequences for the nation. Here are a few of the President-elect's warnings:
“We start 2009 in the midst of a crisis unlike any we have seen in our lifetime – a crisis that has only deepened over the last few weeks. Nearly two million jobs have now been lost, and on Friday we are likely to learn that we lost more jobs last year than at any time since World War II.”
“If nothing is done, this recession could linger for years. The unemployment rate could reach double digits. Our economy could fall $1 trillion short of its full capacity, which translates into more than $12,000 in lost income for a family of four. We could lose a generation of potential and promise”
“In short, a bad situation could become dramatically worse.”
“There is no doubt that the cost of this plan will be considerable. It will certainly add to the budget deficit in the short-term. But equally certain are the consequences of doing too little or nothing at all, for that will lead to an even greater deficit of jobs, incomes, and confidence in our economy.”
“ For every day we wait or point fingers or drag our feet, more Americans will lose their jobs. More families will lose their savings. More dreams will be deferred and denied. And our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse. “
“ I know the scale of this plan is unprecedented, but so is the severity of our situation. We have already tried the wait-and-see approach to our problems, and it is the same approach that helped lead us to this day of reckoning.”
More bad news
– Unemployment: tomorrow the numbers expected to look ugly
– Walgreens announced layoffs – 1,000 today
Retail numbers...also bad news
– Wal-Mart reported a 1.7% gain in same-store sales excluding fuel in December. That was less than the 2.8% increase
– Target down 4.1% last month.
– Sears down 7.3% drop in its same-store sales,
– Macy's down 4% drop in its comparable store sales. The company also announced it was closing 11 underperforming stores.
– Limited Brand owner of Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works chains, said its same-store sales tumbled 10%
– Gap sales fell 14%
– Toys R Us said its combined November and December sales at its domestic stores fell 3.4%
And even more bad news...annual job losses report due tomorrow
Annual job losses on a seasonally adjusted basis stand at 1,911,000 through November. That currently ranks third all-time. The 1,911,000 will likely be adjusted for November, and possibly other prior months.
Here are the top 5 annual losses right now:
– 1945: 2,750,000
– 1982: 2,130,000
– 2008: 1,910,000
– 2001: 1,760,000
– 1949: 1,510,000
Monthly Job Losses..to come tomorrow:
The number is due tomorrow. If December comes in as forecast (500,000), it would be below the 34-year high of 533,000 originally reported in November (which will be revised). Here are some mileposts to determine the last time we would have had a bigger number:
– Up to 431K – worst since May 1980, a 28-1/2 year high (assumes major downward revision for November)
– From -432K to -602K: Worst since December 1974. Once again, a 34-year high.
– From -603K to -629K: Worst since July 1956. A 52-year high
– From -630K to -834K: Worst since Oct. 1949. A 59-year high
– From -835K to -1.966 million: Worst since Sept. 1945. A 63-year high
-1.967 million or more: Record job loss.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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