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Obama to start term amid economic gloom

world Updated: Jan 17, 2009 23:34 IST
V Krishna
V Krishna
Hindustan Times
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As President-elect Barack Obama travelled to Ohio to drum up support for his $825-billion revival package on Friday, four days before he is to take office, employers announced more than 40,000 job cuts.

“We’ve started this year in the midst of a crisis unlike any we’ve seen in our lifetime,” Obama told workers at a plant in a Cleveland suburb. “With each passing day, families here in Ohio and across America are watching their bills pile up and savings disappear.”

Obama chose The Cardinal Fastener & Specialty Co., whose products include screws and bolts used in wind turbines, to make his pitch because reviving US manufacturing and switching to alternative energy sources are major components of his economic plan.

The company’s experience, Obama said, shows that “a renewable energy economy isn’t some pie-in-the-sky, far-off future. It’s happening all across America right now. It can create new industries if we act right now.”

Meanwhile, electronics retailer Circuit City said it would close all its 567 stores, putting 34,000 people out of work. Others to announce job cuts included the rental car company Hertz (over 4,000), among others.
(With agency inputs)