Friday, November 04, 2005

Maybe Those Hopelessly Old Fashioned Brick 'n Mortar Retailers Weren't So Clueless After All...

If your mailbox is beginning to fill with holiday shopping catalogs, blame the Internet.

BizRate Research's Online Holiday Mood Study found almost 60 percent of Net merchants plan to use catalog mailings to drive traffic to Web sites this year. Nine out of 10 online merchants say they will be putting promotional dollars into offline media for the season. [...]

Buyers can expect free shipping to be common, because four out of five consumers said it is an important factor in their decision-making, "Shoppers are clearly motivated by promotions like free shipping, gifts with purchase and special online offers," said Scott Silverman, executive director of, [the industry trade group that announced the research results], in a statement.

- By Frank Barnako, for MarketWatch

Four out of five consumers don't know that "there's no such thing as a free lunch" ?


Crude down 1% [...] for the week

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch, 3:08pm 11/04/05) -- Forecasts for warmer-than-normal weather in much of the U.S. and recovering output in the Gulf of Mexico pressured energy futures for the session and the week. December crude closed at $60.58 a barrel, down $1.20 for the session and down 1% for the week.

- By Myra P. Saefong

Also, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, in October of 2005 approximately 142,646,000 Americans were employed, the highest number of employed people yet this year, with a gain of around 2,405,000 jobs since January of 2005, and a gain of roughly 2,820,000 jobs over the results for October of 2004.

Official unemployment among adults of all races was a wee bit under 4.5% in October, and the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons --those who are available for and would prefer full-time work-- decreased by 330,000, to 4.3 million.

(All figures are seasonally adjusted).


Blogger Hey Skipper said...

That 4.5% figure is very close to the number considered to represent full employment.

In a country the size of the US, at any given time, about 4% of the workforce is traveling between jobs.

November 04, 2005 6:16 PM  
Blogger Oroborous said...

Yes indeed, and that's also why labor shortages are being forecast in the near and mid-term futures.

Beginning in five years, 2010, the Boomers are going to start retiring at a rate of ~2.5 million a year, and right now we only have about 1.5 million immigrants per year coming to America, legal or not.

Since we also have younger people entering the workforce all the time, the pressure will be small at first, but continuing and relentless, and if (IF) the present trends don't change much, we could be at least 5 million workers short by 2020.

Not a catastrophe, but definitely a problem, especially since the overwhelming majority of immigrants to the U.S. currently come from Mexico, and like almost everyone else, Mexico is experiencing a rapid drop in fertility - so they're not having enough babies now to supply the U.S. with all of the workers that we might like in twenty years.

November 04, 2005 11:48 PM  
Blogger Duck said...

So much for the idea that the Internet would be the death of the Postal service. Remember the claims about personal computers leading to the paperless office? Pixels are nice, they are convenient, but they will never supplant the desire to hold text and pictures on paper.

The employment numbers are great, but they mask a problem of stagnant or falling wages for the lower half of the income scale. Not all boats are rising.

November 06, 2005 8:29 AM  

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