Christine Romans is minding your business this morning. "You should know your own credit history," she says, because employers may be checking it, making potential employment even harder for those who need it the most.
A growing number of Americans today are continuously traveling around the country for work, especially during the holiday season. These nomadic workers of sorts are called “workampers”, and they’ve became a vital part of the workforce at a giant Amazon.com warehouse in Nevada. Casey Wian has that story.
He follows Kellie and Walt Gunn as they drive to the company's massive customer fulfillment center, 30 miles outside Reno, Nevada. They call themselves "affluent homeless." Always on the road and living in an RV, these so-called workampers are two of “hundreds of thousands of semi-retired Americans...now traveling from seasonal job-to-job,” Wian reports. “At this Amazon warehouse, 250 workampers earn about $12 an hour, plus bonuses and overtime.”
"It's far more economical to live this way than it is in a stick house," Kellie says. “We don't spend near as much as we did when we were in a stick house. Just insurance alone and taxes on property and so forth,” Walt adds.
“This year, Amazon is hiring 50,000 seasonal workers at its 40 fulfillment centers nationwide,” Wian says. “Eleven hundred of them are Workampers…A small, but growing number of workampers are younger, forced out of jobs by the recession."
“With the economy the way it is, they have to work,” Walt says. “Well they're too young for Social Security, so they have no retirement,” Kellie adds. “When the economy dropped, they pretty much lost everything that they had. And so now they go from job to job."
President Obama concluded the Democratic Republican Convention last night when he accepted his party’s nomination for reelection with a speech touching on his vision for the next four years. That vision includes creating jobs, a critical test he faces this morning with the jobs report for the month of August set to be released in a few hours. CNNMoney.com Managing Editor Lex Harris joins Zoraida Sambolin on “Early Start” this morning to preview the jobs report.
“The forecast right now from the economists we talked is for about 120,000 jobs added,” Harris says. “It continues to tell the story of slow and steady gains. Unfortunately, it’s just not enough to bring the unemployment rate down meaningfully. We’re probably still going to stay at 8.3%.”
However, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 both closed at their highest points during Obama’s presidency on Thursday. Harris tells Sambolin how this could be good news for the president. “I think the market hit bottom in March 2009. Since then, it’s basically doubled under President Obama,” he says. “It’s a big story.”
Yet, Obama is not totally out of the red. The Federal Reserve meets next week. “Part of the reason the stock market’s been going up is because of the Fed. If they disappoint, we could see some shakiness there,” Harris says. “And Europe is still not fixed.”
For the first time since the theater shooting in Colorado, President Obama forcefully weighed in on gun control yesterday, making perhaps his strongest comments yet as president on gun violence.
Speaking to the National Urban League, Obama said, "AK 47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals [...] they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities."
Chairman of the National Governors Association and Obama campaign surrogate Gov. Jack Markell joins Early Start this morning to discuss the president's remarks and to discuss the controversial issue.
Although Gov. Markell stresses that he's primarily focused on addressing gun control at the state level, he says, "lots of us support the second amendment but we want to make sure we're keeping weapons out of the hands of people like [the shooter] in Colorado."
Gov. Markell also explains his initiative to increase employment opportunities for Americans with disabilities.
"Early Start with John Berman and Christine Romans" airs weekdays from 5-6am ET on CNN. Check in regularly for news, show updates and a little bit of fun.