Last night, my NPR colleague Brian Unger and I got to go to the Oscars. Instead of press passes, we had actual tickets, which allowed us to stroll down the red carpet, hobnob with the stars, and eat really tasty hors d'oeuvres.
A sobering story from Time Magazine's Doug McIntyre: "In January, the economy lost 600,000 jobs. There is no reason to think that the monthly number will be any smaller between now and the end of April. The biggest concern will be whether the near-term future looks so grim to managements that they will begin another substantial round of cuts as they look at their likely second quarter results. This would indicate that the total job loss for 2009 could move above six million. To economists, that would look like the end of the world."
Tomorrow the BLS will release it's hiring survey, which reflects how many actual jobs are open and available in this dismal economy. A survey by Gallup doesn't suggest the numbers will offer job seekers much hope.
Last month we posted an item about the high cost of COBRA, the program that allows you to temporarily keep the health insurance you had at your last employer after you've lost your job. Both the House and Senate versions of the economic stimulus package contain a provision that will help recently laid off workers with those big COBRA bills.
The plan offers a subsidy, probably in the form of a tax credit, of about 65% of the cost of the COBRA coverage. In many cases that's more than the share your former employer may have paid of your health care costs.