A record 6 million people -- or 27.2 percent of the population -- are unemployed in Spain, the highest level for the country since it began keeping records in 1976. Luckily, there is a silver lining: authorities say the rate of the increase has at least slowed since the recession first began. Spain’s economy -- the fourth largest in Europe -- has relied heavily on the major central banks, but the country has been left in recession by deep spending cuts. “These figures are worse than expected,” said Jose Luis Martinez, a strategist at Citi in Madrid. Spanish President Mariano Rajoy is expected to unveil a new reform plan Friday, but thousands of protesters still converged in Madrid on Thursday.
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As most of you probably know, I live in Southeast Michigan, and I can't tell you how fantastic this news is.
Karl Henkel at The Detroit News reports:
Ford Motor Co.'s record North American profit in 2012 will have a ripple effect on auto communities across the country and especially here in Southeast Michigan.
Roughly 45,800 hourly United Auto Workers members who work at Ford plants in the United States will receive record profit-sharing checks of $8,300 on average in March.
"The expected increase in profit-sharing checks for autoworkers this March is good news for Michigan's economy," said Robert Dye, chief economist at Comerica Bank. "It will help to buffer households from the drag of higher payroll taxes," which increased 2 percent for all working Americans on Jan. 1.
On average, the $8,300 profit-sharing check will have an economic impact of $20,750 per worker, when factoring a multiplying ripple effect, said David Sowerby, portfolio manager for Loomis Sayles in Bloomfield Hills.
The $8,300 profit-sharing check shatters the previous record for Ford UAW workers, which was $8,000 in 1999. It also breaks the all-time UAW profit-sharing record of $8,100 that Chrysler workers received in 1999.