From Volume 36, Issue 34 of EIR Online, Published Sept. 4, 2009

U.S. Economic/Financial News

Shutting Down America: 49 of 50 States Lost Manufacturing Jobs

Aug. 29 (EIRNS)—In 49 out of 50 states and the District of Columbia, millions of manufacturing jobs were lost from July 2008 to July 2009. On Aug. 27, the Atlanta Business Chronicle ran a story showing how many of the 1.52 million manufacturing jobs were lost in each state that year. The states with the biggest losses were Ohio (127,000), California (123,400), and Michigan (108,900). Seven states lost 50,000-90,000: Illinois, Indiana, Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Georgia. Fourteen states lost 22,000-45,000: New York, Florida, Minnesota, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Iowa, South Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, Missouri, New Jersey, Kansas, and Washington. Another nine states lost between 10,000 and 20,000, while 13 lost 2,500-9,000. Only Alaska did not lose manufacturing jobs.

Cities, Counties in Bankruptcy; States Furlough Workers

Aug. 29 (EIRNS)—State and local governments are sinking into worse dysfunction by the day, because of the impossibility of coping with the collapsing economy and revenues. Pennsylvania and Connecticut are still in a standoff over their budgets for the FY2010 fiscal year that started July 1. Many states and localities are resorting to worker unpaid furloughs, in the hopeless attempt to cut expenses as fast as their revenue is dropping. The governors of Rhode Island and Maryland are among the latest to announce such furloughs, joining the ranks led by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who began the first-ever unpaid furloughs in California, in February, for 200,000 state workers, twice a month.

Ohio. Scioto County has become the state's first county to be declared bankrupt. On Aug. 18, the Ohio Auditor's office placed Scioto in "fiscal emergency," the state's official designation for bankruptcy. County employees have been asked to take a day off every other week, to conserve funds. Scioto County is on the Ohio River; it once was thriving, along with its chief river town, Portsmouth, when the Great Lakes/Ohio mills and manufacturing were functioning. Now, the Ohio River Basin economic base has collapsed.

In Mahoning County, home to the former steel center of Youngstown, the county court system was on the verge of shutdown due to budget cuts, when this week, county commissioners gave emergency approval for $200,000 to reinstate 13 court clerks, to keep the judiciary open a while longer. This came about after a probate court judge filed a mandamus lawsuit, demanding that county officials act, or there would be civil breakdown. Since 2007, the LaRouche Homeowners and Bank Protection Act (HBPA) Resolution was passed by the city councils of Youngstown and other municipalities in Mahoning County; national enactment of the proposed legislation would have prevented the current debacle.

Michigan. A decision is pending by the state school superintendent on when to declare the Detroit school system in bankruptcy, termed "financial emergency." Such a Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy has been rare until now. Currently, Vallejo, Calif. is the biggest local government in Chapter 9.

Rhode Island. On Aug. 24, Gov. Donald Carcieri announced that he will put 81% of the state's 13,550 workers on furlough without pay for 12 days, between now and June 2010. All state offices, except for police, prison, and other vital security services, will be shut those days, to help close a budget gap of $590 million.

Maryland. On Aug. 28, General Assembly leaders announced that over 630 workers in the state legislative branch will be required to take unpaid furlough days, which are planned to include five days around holidays. This follows on Gov. Martin O'Malley's plan for executive branch workers to take three to ten unpaid daily leaves during the 2010 fiscal year.

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