Sunday, May 10, 2009

Signs Of The Times

Ranks of Older Workers Swell as Losses Shorten Retirement

"SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Jose Villareal once had a successful career as a franchising executive with Pepsi Co. Now, at the age of 67, he can't even get a job as a school custodian.
Mr. Villareal is among the growing numbers of retirement-age Americans battered by financial losses who are trying to get back into the work force -- or never left it.
Participation in the labor force by workers over age 65, which has been creeping upward in recent years, hit 16.9% in April, the highest for that month since 1971, the Labor Department said Friday. Meanwhile, unemployment for workers in that age group was up sharply in April from a year earlier, to 5.8% from 3.5%.
"We're just living day-to-day," Mr. Villareal said."

Jobless Spaniards sell kidneys to transplant tourists

"A MACABRE traffic associated with poor countries in Asia and Latin America has sprung up for the first time in western Europe as the credit crunch reduces Spaniards to selling organs to “transplant tourists”.
Spanish “kidney for sale” advertisements have proliferated recently on the internet as people struggle to make ends meet in a country whose 17% unemployment rate is the highest in Europe. "

Ship Scrapping Boom

"The global economic and trade crisis is so severe that a growing number of ships, some larger than the Titanic, are being pulled from their routes and sent to scrap yards to be sold for parts. Freight and charter rates have fallen and regularly scheduled passenger lines are being cancelled. Those container ships that are still sailing can barely cover their costs. Over-capacity created in recent boom times has accelerated the trend toward scrapping ships.
Yet one boom replaces another. With shipping down, shipbreaking is the business of the hour."


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