HealthCare.gov challenges continue as fewer than 50,000 enroll. The job gap for the young widens and wheat flour is hit by the gluten-free fad.
Fewer than 50,000 have enrolled at HealthCare.gov
Fewer than 50,000 people have successfully enrolled in private insurance plans as of last week, according to the Wall Street Journal. This amount is less than the Obama administration’s target of 500,000 enrollees in October. The Obama administration has indicated that initial numbers will be low and it anticipates that official public numbers will be released later this week. The New York Times indicates that some major health insurers are pushing for the government to create a shortcut to allow them to enroll the individuals directly rather than having to go through the federal system. The government is resisting the idea.Wal-mart focuses on Thanksgiving
The world’s largest retailer announced on Tuesday that it will begin its in-store Black Friday sales at 6pm on Thanksgiving Day, two hours earlier than last year. CNBC reports that a growing list of retailers, including Best Buy and Toys R Us, will push their Black Friday initiatives to Thursday. Wal-mart will begin offering sales on a limited number of items on Thursday morning. It is also ramping up its social media and online components with “manager’s specials”. Wal-mart indicates its goal is to have people come shop with them at 6 pm on Thanksgiving night.US to surpass Saudi Arabia as top oil producer by 2016
The United States will pass Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s top oil producer by 2016. CNBC reports that the International Energy Agency also indicated that by 2020 the oilfields of Texas and North Dakota will be past their prime and the idle East will regain its dominance. The US has a limited resource base that will peak and decline. The IEA estimates that demand for oil will reach 101 million barrels per day compared to the current 99.7 million barrels per day, causing a shortage in the world oil supply.
Job gap widens for the young
America’s job recovery has not yet impacted youth unemployment. The Wall Street Journal reports that after the 2001 recession it took six months for the gap between youth and prime age (those between ages 25 and 54) unemployment rates to return to average. After the early 1990s recession it took 30 months. This time it has been 52 months and the gap has not narrowed. The jobs that are available are often low-wage or part-time. Many economists worry that the current labor divide is part of a long-term trend.Wheat flour suffers as consumers move to pricier gluten-free products
Bloomberg reports that less than 1 percent of Americans have the disorder that requires a gluten-free diet, however, nearly one in three Americans now avoid gluten. Sales at Kellogg Co. and Britain’s Warburtons Ltd. Have come under pressure. To fight back, the companies have boosted their output of pricier gluten-free products, rather than take on the celebrities and authors promoting gluten-free diets. General Mills has transformed most of its Chex cereal brand into a gluten-free offering and sales have jumped 10 percent. Wheat flour consumption has fallen to a 22 year low, according to the Department of Agriculture. One company, Canada Bread, is making a commercial to tout bread products, similar to the dairy industry’s “Got Milk?” marketing campaign to swing back at the celebrities and spokesmen who are touting gluten-free diets.
Catherine S. McBreen is President of Millionaire Corner. McBreen plans and develops content for Millionaire Corner. Catherine balances editorial content to meet the informational needs of both new and seasoned investors. She designs special monthly surveys on topical issues affecting the economic environment.
McBreen has a B.S. in speech communications from Northwestern University and a J.D. from DePail University College of Law. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.
Well-known for her expertise in the affluent and retirement arenas, McBreen is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. She has been quoted widely by the financial media, including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Research, Private Asset Management, On Wall Street, Reuters, Bloomberg News, The Dow Jones Newswires and Worth. Cathy has appeared as a guest on CNBC Closing Bell, First Business Morning News, Neal Cavuto at Fox Business News, ABC and CBS radio.
McBreen is co-author with Spectrem President George H. Walper, Jr. of the book "Get Rich, Stay Rich, Pass It On: The Wealth-Accumulation Secrets of America's Richest Families" (Portfolio, January 2008)
Catherine is the mother of four and is involved in many school and community events.