Daley warns of more troubled times

November 13, 2008 7:33:29 PM PST
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley is painting a bleak economic future for the city as executives in the private sector talk of more layoffs. Mayor Daley says many business executives have warned him that they will have to lay off large numbers of people over the next year if the economy does not improve.

Last month, the mayor unveiled plans to lay off nearly 1,000 city workers and eliminate 1,300 positions to close a $369 million budget deficit. The mayor says things could get worse, but Alderman Bernie Stone insists the city will continue to work.

"Cities live on our money, and the cost of interest can bury a city. And the fact that we have got a good bond rating means that we don't bury ourselves with interest," said Ald. Stone.

Officials are now worried about the private sector. The latest headlines reveal just how bleak things may be. Macy's posted huge declines in sales along with Best Buy. Economists are predicting a poor holiday shopping season, which could push some retailers into bankruptcy.

"We never experience anything like this except (those) people (who) came from The Depression, when you have that many layoffs. This is only the beginning of their layoffs," said Mayor Daley.

"Just this past week, we had about 500,000 people file initial jobless claims. Now we have over four million people out of work which is 6.5% of the work force. It's really a testament now to how much of a tough situation we're facing with keeping people employed," said Jason Tyler, Ariel Investments.

Chicagoans said the economic strain is being felt by many.

"The senior citizens are the ones that are going to get it. They really are. So many of them (are) in need," said Fannie Smith, Chicago


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