Thursday, June 30, 2011

US firms hiring abroad

U.S. multinational corporations, the big brand-name companies that employ a fifth of all American workers, have been hiring abroad while cutting back at home, sharpening the debate over globalization's effect on the U.S. economy.

The companies cut their work forces in the U.S. by 2.9 million during the 2000 to 2009 while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million, new data from the U.S. Commerce Department show. That's a big switch from the 1990s, when they added jobs everywhere: 4.4 million in the U.S. and 2.7 million abroad.

In all, U.S. multinationals employed 21.1 million people at home in 2009 and 10.3 million abroad.

You can read more from the Wall Street Journal Article here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pepper Miller BIO

Pepper Miller

Pepper Miller is a long time marketing research, focus groups and advertising executive who has spent her career helping fortune 500 companies market their products to African-Americans. She has been outspoken with regard to Blacks as a separate target audience. Much of her research is on marketing to Blacks as a separate cultural group. Her strength has been the complex world of marketing research and focus group analysis.

Marketing research is the process of applying statistical methods to analyze qualitative data from consumer to better market products.

She encourages Blacks to consider marketing research as a career choice. She also has a scholarship to sponsor Blacks interested in marketing research.

She founded the Chicago based, Hunter-Miller group in 1985. Here is a link to Hunter-Millers website.

Her clients have included: American Airlines, GM, Ford, Johnson & Johnson and Proctor and Gamble. You can read the complete list on the website.

She has worked on the Radio One / Yankelvich study of the Black Consumer Market called the Black America today: 2008, a market segmentation study.

In 2005, She co-authored a book, with Herb Kemp, called “What’s Black about ? Insights to increase your share of a changing African American Market”
Here is an interview she gave in 2006.

Here is a nice piece from rolling out magazine and website. Here.

Here is some info on a more advertising oriented competitor, Carol Williams, Here.

Monday, June 20, 2011

We are absolutley against ATT buying T-Mobile

We are 110% opposed to the ATT / T-Mobile merger because the merger will hurt Black consumers by rewarding poor customer service and high prices. It will also reduce employment in a sector of the economy with above average wages and growth. Finally, it will reduce competition and innovation in the wireless marketplace.

The merger would:
1. Reduce employment
2. Raise prices
3. Reduce competition
3. Increase corporate bonuses
5. Allow the control of 80 percent of the cell phone market by two companies: ATT & Verizon
6. Stifle innovation

We also review many of the individual and institutional comment posted on the FCC website. The comments broke down into three categories: Individual Comsumers (Opposed to the merger), Institutions (For the merger) and public interest groups (generally opposed or conditional support)

All of the reviewed, individual comments criticized ATT for poor service and/or high prices. Many mentioned be “locked” into a long-term contract.

Institutions typically cited the benefits of ATT in their jurisdiction such as the jobs ATT generates or the taxes it pays.

Public interest groups provided the most comprehensive opposition to the merger. Many filed well reasoned briefs with detail on the impact of the merger on different groups such as low-income or rural.

All three groups claimed to speak for the consumer.

The justice department is also looking into the anti-competitive aspects of the merger.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Conjure: Ludacris's Cognac

Today, we want to look a little closer at Conjure Cognac which was co-developed and marketed by Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges. Conjure is Cognac or Brandy from the Cognac region of France. Brandy is a spirit distilled from wine and contains about 45% to 60% alcohol. It is considered a “luxury” or high end after dinner drink.
Conjure was launched in 2 markets in 2009 and has since expanded to 30 markets in the US. Currently it is available in 40 markets.

Cognac Expert gave Conjure the top new Cognac of 2011. It has also won several industry awards. Ludacris was actively involved in selecting the distilled grape varities, fruits and spices blendes into Conjure. He spent time in France working with the master blender at Birkedal Hartmann to develop the taste.

Ludacris is part owner of the Cognac venture. He has sold 100,000 in the 12-month period ending March 31st, 2011. He would like to sell 200,000 cases by 1st quarter 2012.

Christopher Bridges is known to be a relentless promoter of Conjure Cognac. He features it in all his video appearances (DJ Khalid, “I all I do is win”, Time: 0.42, “Luda Yak”), public appearances and concerts. He is hardly without a bottle. Ludacris even has a rap song called Conjure (“a hustler’s spirit”).

Conjure has done well in the US and Norway. The newly appointed management team is expected to focus on European expansion. The goal of the company is make Cognac appealing to a young market in club and parties rather old folks with cigars.

On May 10, 2011, Conjure announce a management reorganization. The company appointed Kim Birkedal Hartmann and Jeff Dixon as Chief Operating Officers in April 2011. They are replacing Hans Holst and Paul-Andre Petersen of Birkedal Hartmann and Dr. Harry Kohlmann and Chris Mehringer of Park Street Advisors.

Park Street Advisors’s affiliate Park Street Imports is the exclusive importer into the US.

ABK6 is supposed to have a Dr. Dre cognac in the pipeline.

Celebrity Alcohol Endorsements

Here is a list of Celebrity Alcohol endorsements:

Snoop Dogg -- Calvin Brodus - Colt 45 Blast
Ludacris -- Christopher Bridges - Conjure Cognac
Jay-Z Armand de Brignac (Ace of spades) champagnes
Big Boi - Crown Royal

Monday, June 13, 2011

Are the Republican's sabotaging the economy ?

Lately you have to wonder if the Republicans are operating against the country's best interests. They have refused to compromise on deficit reduction. They have refused to raise the debt ceiling. And they have opposed almost every important economic and governmental appointment from the Obama administration. They seem to be bent on choking off the national government by denying the best talent the ability to serve.

Recently they successfully blocked Peter Diamond, a nobel prizing winning economist specializing in unemployment, from the Federal Reserve Bank Board of Governors. They blocked John Bryson from the US Department of Commerce. They have also preempted the best candidate to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Elizabeth Warren.
She actually helped write the legislation setting up the CFPB.

They have also been quite open discussing how a poor economy benefits Republican candidates.

Now they are negotiating to stop a rise in the debt limit. The deadline is August 2nd, 2011 but the markets are "herd" oriented, so the stampede would start in mid July. The stampede might catch everyone off guard by crushing public sentiment and raising interest rates and triggering a double dip.

Sadly, I see the Republican antics triggering a second dip of the recession either by cutting spending too fast or by threatening to cap the debt limit. It is very painful to watch this play out as they attempt to make a point. The costs are way to high for such selfishness.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

What's the best earning college degree

Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce released a study of the earning's power of different college degrees. The study called "What's it worth ? The economic value of College Majors," demonstrate how critical the choice of a college major is linked to median earnings.

The authors find that for every major, college has a positive return, even when factoring in college costs and lost earnings. [Note: The EBE disputes this claim. We believes that certain majors, such as Education, at expensive private colleges are are "underwater" and currently do not have a positive return].

Second, the report notes that what subject you major in has a large impact on future earnings. For example, at the median wage, an Engineering Major's can earn $1,090,000 over their lifetime versus $241,000 for Education Major. That is a difference of $849,000 dollars or 450% more.

Second, they find that the lifetime earnings gap at the median wage levels a in every college major

The report analyzes 171 majors in 15 categories. The report finds that majors are highly segregated by race, ethnicity and gender. Men are concentrated in the highest paying majors and women in the lowest paying majors.

Here is a graph of the highest earning college fields of study(Majors)

And here are the lowest earning fields of study(Majors)


Saturday, June 4, 2011

May unemployment may signal big problems: Black unemployment rises to 16.1%; National rate at 9.1%

The May unemployment report was close to shocking. Only 54,000 net new jobs were created. The national unemployment rate rose to 9.1% and the Black unemployment rate rose to 16.1%. Economists has predicted between 125, 000 and 175,000 for the month. The national GDP grew only 1.8% on an annual basis foreshadowing the poor report.

Private non farm payroll increased 83,000 just one-third of 251,000 new jobs added in April. Employment increased in business services by 44,000 and healthcare by 17,000. Manufacturing lost 5,000 jobs and Construction added 2,000. The biggest drop was in local government jobs which fell by -28,000.

The US economy has lost about 7 million jobs since the beginning of the recession in December 2007.

The reaction

The unexpectedly low number of new jobs worried the financial community (DJIA dropped 100 pts) and some in the political community. Read Austan Goolsbee here. He is head of the council of economic advisers to the President.

Media coverage was light. Google trends report a 1.66 index for the term "Unemployment" as compared to 6.97 for "President Obama" and 24 for the term "Kardashian".

Black Unemployment Up Again

Black unemployment (BU) increased again to 16.1%. It was 15.3% in Feb. 2011. The 16.1% was close to the BU peak of 16.5% in Mar/Apr 2010. As recently as Jan 2007, the BU rate was 7.9 percent. That is an astounding 100% increase in four years. Sadly, the "Real" Black unemployment rate which is the the "Black U6" was still 23%. Basically, 23% of the Black labor force wanted work and could not find it.

Black U6 is an approximation computed from adding the difference between US national U3 and U6 plus the Black unemployment rate. The assumption is the difference between the US population for U3 and U6 would be the same for the Black populations U3-U6. Truth is: Black U6 is probably higher. The chart below provides a graphic explanation.

The unemployment rate for Black men (20+) was 17.5 and Black women 13.4%. 7.8 million Black women are employed vs. 6.6 million Black men. In other words, more than 1.2 million Black women work than Black men. One million more Black women are in the labor force that Black Men (about 9 million vs. 8 million men)

2.88 million Black people were unemployed in May, 2011 about the same number as April. The Black labor force participation rate was reported at 61.1%. In February 2010, it was 62.7. The number of Blacks holding jobs shrank by 178,000. An additional 621.000 Blacks have dropped out of the labor force. The
In other bad news, the long-term unemployed (out of work for more than 26 weeks) increased to 361,000 to 6.2 million. The long term unemployed are 45% of the total unemployed.

Part-Time, Long-term and Discouraged Workers

The number of part-time workers for economic reasons was unchanged at 8.5 Million. These are people who would like full-time work but cannot find it. Marginally attached workers stayed around 2.2 million. These are people who have looked for work in the past 12 month but are not counted as part of the labor force.

The number of discouraged workers dropped year-to-year. Last May there were 1.1 million. Currently there are 822,000 discouraged workers, a 24% drop. Discouraged workers have stopped looking for work because they believe no work is available for their skills.

Establishment Data

Non farm Payrolls increased by 54, 000. The private sector added only 83,000 jobs which were reduced by government reductions. Retail trade stores added lost -8,500 jobs, business and professional services added 44,000, and health care added 17,000 and manufacturing lost -5,000.

Here is the overall NFP view of the new jobs. Increases in private hiring were offset by the loss of local government jobs.

Here is a breakdown of non farm payroll by category. You can see the growth came from healthcare and the drag was local government layoffs.

Temporary help is a closely watched, bell-weather category. It grows during a recession as employers are unwilling to make the investment of hiring long term employees. When the economy picks-up, the demand for temporary help drops. Lately, as employers use of “temps” has changed, temporary help has stayed strong.
Temporary help was flat meaning that employers were hiring rather than using temporary help services.

Construction added 2,000 jobs. Construction related jobs are a key part of the economy.

March NFP was revised down 221,000 to 194,000 and Aprils number was reduced from 244,00 to 232,000

On Thursday, the DOL released weekly unemployment claims figure as 422,000. Still above 400K and well above 250K which is the full employment base figure. ADP reported 38,000 new jobs were added.


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