Early Briefing: Where The Jobs Are

* The Federal Diary's new columnist, Joe Davidson, writes that every day seems to bring more bad news about newspaper colleagues around the country losing their jobs. The auto industry is shedding workers faster than gas-guzzling SUVs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says layoffs "were the highest for the month of June since 2003."

Although the economy is in a funk, he says there is one employer who expects to hire big time in the coming years -- Uncle Sam.

"Most experts agree that the government will need to replace at least a half million federal employees in the near future," says a recent report by the Merit Systems Protection Board.

Thousands of potential employees, many of them summer interns, attended a career fair last month sponsored by the Partnership for Public Service in the stately National Building Museum. "Despite the nation's grim job forecast, the federal government is on a hiring spree," the group says. "According to the organization's research, Uncle Sam needs to fill 193,000 mission-critical jobs by September 2009. There are federal jobs available in practically every interest and skill area, in all 50 states and around the world." Mission-critical positions include those in public health, engineering and accounting.

* Bloomberg News reported on remarks by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama about the plight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:

"Long term, what we have to do is go ahead and make a decision," Obama said at a campaign appearance in Davenport, Iowa. "If these are public entities, then they have to get out of the profit-making business, and if they are private entities, then we don't bail them out."

The Illinois senator said he supported the move by Congress to give the Bush administration the authority to inject capital into the two government-sponsored mortgage- finance companies.
If the companies collapsed, "then probably the financial system would receive such a body blow that it could be disastrous," Obama said. "You probably couldn't get a mortgage out there because a lot of people package these mortgages that get bought up in the secondary market."

Obama also said he had "no sympathy" for the chief executive officers of the companies and said they "shouldn't be taking out bonuses." He also said "investors who have made a killing shouldn't be protected." He didn't differentiate between common and preferred shareholders.

By Dan Beyers  |  August 26, 2008; 8:39 AM ET
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