Business, Finance & Economics

Mounting layoffs sign of deepening economic downturn

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With the Gross Domestic Product contracting for the first time in several years, the Dow Jones' dive, and credit worries, what follows will be the inevitable waves of layoffs from some of the country's largest employers.

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The US is expected to lose 200,000 jobs this month and unemployment, now 6.1 percent, could rise to 7 or 8 percent. Xerox, Coca-Cola, Whirlpool, Merck and Yahoo are laying off workers, as are most of the airlines.

But cuts are expected to hit the auto industry hardest of all. Cars are not selling, and unemployment in Michigan has already reached 9 percent. Even if General Motors and Chrysler merge, jobs will be lost, and if one of the Big Three goes bankrupt the ripple effect could be in the millions.

Will Washington bail out another industry? Would another stimulus package invigorate the economy? Host Warren Olney looks at these issues today as rising unemployment adds to the income inequality that separates Americans from each other.

Guests:
* Bernard Simon: Correspondent, Financial Times
* Barbara Ehrenreich: journalist and author
* Jared Bernstein: Senior Economist, Economic Policy Institute
* Terry Neese: Distinguished Fellow, National Center for Policy Analysis
* Winslow Wheeler: Director of the Straus Military Reform Project, Center for Defense Information

Hosted by award-winning journalist Warren Olney, "To the Point" presents informative and thought-provoking discussion of major news stories — front-page issues that attract a savvy and serious news audience.

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PRI's coverage of economic security is supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and its Campaign for American Workders.

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