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Author Topic:   AP survey: Outlook for 2011 economy is brightening

Posts: 8156
From: Pleasanton, CA
Registered: Apr 2009

posted January 27, 2011 11:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AcousticGod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer Jeannine Aversa, Ap Economics Writer
Thu Jan 27, 7:50 am ET

WASHINGTON – Employers will hire more workers this year, and the economy will grow faster than envisioned three months ago, according to an Associated Press survey that found growing optimism among leading economists.

But unemployment will stay chronically high — nearly 9 percent by year's end, the latest quarterly AP Economy Survey shows. A majority of economists say it will be 2016 or later before unemployment drops to a historically normal rate of around 5 percent.

Economists have become more confident 19 months after the worst recession since the Great Depression ended. Lower Social Security taxes and higher stock prices will embolden Americans to spend more and help power the economy, they say.

"People will finally recognize that an economic recovery is under way," said Lynn Reaser, a board member of the National Association for Business Economics. "This won't be a recovery seen only by economists."

The gains this year will be enough to withstand the threats still clouding the economy, the AP survey found. A majority of the economists doubt, for example, that falling home prices and higher mortgage rates will pose a major risk to the economy in 2011.

The AP survey collected the views of 42 private, corporate and academic economists on a range of indicators. Among their forecasts:

• The economy will grow 3.2 percent this year, compared with the 2.7 percent they forecast in October. That would top last year's estimated growth of less than 3 percent.

• Employers will create a net total of 2.2 million jobs. Three months ago, the economists predicted 1.6 million jobs would be added in 2011. Last year, employers added roughly 1.1 million.

• Consumers will spend 3.2 percent more this year than last year. That's stronger than the 2.5 percent growth the economists had forecast in October. And it's nearly double the spending growth that's estimated for 2010.

• Inflation will be 1.8 percent this year, barely more than the 1.7 percent the economists forecast in the previous survey and up only slightly from 1.5 percent last year. The 1.8 percent forecast falls within the range of inflation the Federal Reserve thinks a healthy economy needs.

Among the reasons for the economists' growing optimism: an extension of income-tax cuts, a cut in Social Security taxes for workers, easier access to loans, higher stock prices and a government that seems more sympathetic to the priorities of businesses.

The brighter outlook is also evident among people responsible for hiring.

Jerry Huddleston, human resources manager of the Ozark Natural Foods grocery store in Fayetteville, Ark., said he plans to hire for busy weekend shifts because sales are improving.

The store is generally slow to add jobs. But Huddleston said business is picking up. Customers seem more willing to pay more for organic milk, vitamin supplements and pre-made vegetarian meals.

"I think people are starting to be more confident that the job they have is the job they will have tomorrow," he said.

As the economy gradually strengthens, the economists expect interest rates will tick up, as they already have begun to do. They think the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, now at 3.4 percent, will reach 3.6 percent by midyear and 3.9 percent by year's end. Those higher rates would force up mortgage rates, which tend to track the 10-year Treasury yield.

Yet when asked about a range of threats — from falling home prices and rising energy prices to state budget woes and Europe's debt crisis — the economists called each a minor risk rather than a major risk to the economy.

In the spring and summer, many analysts had feared the economy might slide back into a "double-dip" recession.

"Consumers and businesses are in a better mood," said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight. "They are spending a little more freely. Not a lot more freely, but a little more freely."

That helps explain why Behravesh has lifted his forecast for economic growth in 2011 to 3.2 percent, from 2.2 percent in October.

Still, the Fed said Wednesday that the economy isn't growing fast enough to lower unemployment and still needs help from the Fed's $600 billion Treasury bond-purchase program. The bond purchases are intended to lower rates on loans and boost stock prices, spurring more spending and invigorating the economy.

President Barack Obama still faces risks from voters skeptical of his economic stewardship, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. More than half disapprove of how he's handled the economy. Just 35 percent say it's improved on his watch; 40 percent had said so a year ago.

Yet public sentiment may brighten if the economists prove correct in their forecasts. Rajeev Dhawan, director of Georgia State University's Economic Forecasting Center, has raised his estimate for growth this year to 2.7 percent, from 1.8 percent three months ago.

This year "will be better than 2010 in terms of hiring, spending and economic growth," Dhawan said. "Yet unemployment will decline only slowly. At least we're not going backward."


AP Business Writer Christopher Leonard in St. Louis contributed to this report.


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posted January 28, 2011 02:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AcousticGod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
U.S. GDP Growth Accelerates

U.S. economic growth accelerated in the final three months of 2010 as Americans spent more and businesses drew down inventories, suggesting the recovery may pick up speed this year.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of all the goods and services produced, rose at an inflation-adjusted annual rate of 3.2% in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday in its first estimate of the measure.


Speeding up

Jan 28th 2011, 14:26 by R.A. | WASHINGTON

FIRST, the good news. According to preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, American economic growth continued to accelerate as expected in the fourth quarter of 2010. Real GDP expanded at a 3.2% annual pace, up from 2.6% in the third quarter and the fastest pace since the first three months of the year. This was the sixth consecutive monthly expansion, and it pushed the American economy above an important psychological threshold: real output is finally, at long last, above the pre-recession peak. It only took three years to regain that ground.

The 3.2% rate was a little less than the 3.5% economists had forecast, but this is the preliminary release; two further revisions will occur in the months to come. The biggest boost to growth came from accelerating growth in personal consumption, the lion's share of which was from purchases of durable goods. Consumer spending was up at a 4.4% annual pace (compared to 2.4% in the third quarter). Of the 3.2% total growth pace, 3.02 percentage points were contributed by personal consumption.

Gains were also attributable to a nice improvement in exports. Net exports contributed positively to growth for the first time all year. But for the first time in almost two years, federal government spending joined state and local spending as a drag on growth. This trend will continue; generally speaking, future growth will have to come despite government cuts rather than thanks to government supports. Meanwhile, the Fed got little to worry it on the inflation front. Its favoured inflation measure—the core price index for personal consumption expenditures—came in at a 0.4% annual growth rate. That measure has declined steadily from the fourth quarter of last year.

So what about the bad news? Well, given the size of the output gap—for now, about $800 billion separates actual and potential real output—the economy should be growing faster. For 2010 as a whole, output expanded by 2.9%. That's the fastest growth since 2005, but at this point in the early 1990s business cycle annual growth was up (despite a smaller output gap) at a 3.4% pace, and at this point in the early 1980s cycle annual growth was roaring ahead at 4.5%. Current growth is consistent with a painfully slow reduction in the unemployment rate. Forecasters anticipate a further acceleration in 2011, perhaps to an annual rate near 4%. The jobless can only hope such predictions come true.

And they well might. Both consumption and investment have been very depressed for the past few years, and a continued rebound would not be surprising. Meanwhile, it seems likely that America's trade balance will continue to improve, which would provide additional support for growth. The big continued question marks concern the problems in government budgets—how much a drag on growth they will ultimately represent—and the labour market. If growth begins translating into an acceleration in hiring, that could change the psychology around the economy, fueling spending and investment. And then recovery might finally resemble the V-shape one would expect after such a long, deep, and painful downturn.

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posted April 01, 2011 11:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AcousticGod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Unemployment rate falls to 8.8 pct., two-year low

By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer Jeannine Aversa, Ap Economics Writer
1 min ago

WASHINGTON – The unemployment rate fell to a two-year low of 8.8 percent in March, capping the strongest two months of hiring since before the recession began.

The economy added 216,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said Friday. Factories, retailers, the education and health care sectors and professional and financial services all expanded payrolls. Those job gains offset layoffs by local governments.

Another month of brisk hiring provided the latest sign that the economy is strengthening nearly two years after the recession ended. Still, a surprisingly large number of people who stopped looking for work during the downturn have yet to start looking again.

Private employers, the backbone of the economy, are driving the gains. They added more than 200,000 jobs for a second straight month. It was the first time that's happened since 2006 — more than a year before the recession started.

"The U.S. labor market is finally making some serious progress," said Sal Guatieri, economist at BMO Capital Markets Economics.

The unemployment rate dipped from 8.9 percent in February. The rate has fallen a full percentage point over the past four months. That's the sharpest drop since 1983.

Economists predict employers will add jobs at roughly the same pace for the rest of this year. That would generate about 2.5 million new positions. Still, that would make up for only a small portion of the 7.5 million jobs wiped out during the recession.

A big factor in the lower unemployment rate is that the proportion of people who either have a job or are looking for one is surprisingly low for this stage of the recovery.

People who stopped looking for work during the downturn are not counted as unemployed. If many out-of-work people start looking for work again, they will be counted and the unemployment rate could go up. That could happen even if the economy is adding jobs.

Local governments, wrestling with budget shortfalls, cut 15,000 workers last month and are expected to keep shedding jobs. Home prices are falling amid weak sales and a record number of foreclosures. Construction spending dropped in February to a 12-year low. Higher food and gas prices are leaving consumers with less disposable income to spend on other goods and services.

Workers' paychecks were flat in March. Average hourly earnings held steady at $22.87, unchanged from February. Over the past 12 months, wages have lagged behind inflation. Workers have little bargaining power to demand big pay raises because the job market is still healing slowly.

Another report out Friday showed that manufacturing activity cooled off a bit last month after expanding in February at the fastest pace in nearly seven years. Still, the sector grew for the 20th straight month, another positive sign for the economy.

The number of unemployed people dipped to 13.5 million in March, still almost double since before the recession began in December 2007.

Including part-time workers who would rather be working full time, plus people who have given up looking altogether, the percentage of "underemployed" people dropped to 15.7 percent in March, the smallest share in two years.

Professional and business services, including accountants, bookkeepers, engineers and computer designers, added 78,000 positions, the most since November. Of those, 29,000 were temporary positions.

Factories added 17,000 jobs in March, the fifth straight month of gains. Retailers added nearly 18,000 jobs, after cutting them in February. Financial services expanded payrolls by 6,000, following two straight months of cutbacks. Education and health services expanded employment by 45,000, leisure and hospitality added 37,000 jobs.

Aside from layoffs by local governments, other sectors eliminating jobs included construction, transportation and warehousing, and information services, such as telecommunications. State government hiring was flat, after four straight months of layoffs.

Retailer Aaron's Inc. said this week that it plans to create almost 1,000 jobs in the United States and Canada this year. The company sells and leases residential furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories.

Google Inc. said earlier this year that it plans to hire more than 6,200 workers in 2011, the biggest expansion by the Internet's most profitable company. That would increase the company's work force by more than 25 percent.

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posted April 01, 2011 01:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jwhop     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
March 31, 2011
Gallup Finds U.S. Unemployment Rate at 10.0% in March
Underemployment falls to 19.3% from 19.9% at the end of February
by Dennis Jacobe, Chief Economist

PRINCETON, NJ -- Unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, was 10.0% in March -- down from 10.2% in mid-March and 10.3% at the end of February, but above the 9.8% at the end of January. U.S. unemployment was 10.4% at the end of March a year ago.

The percentage of part-time workers who want full-time work was 9.3% at the end of March -- down from 9.7% in mid-March and 9.6% in both February measurements. The current percentage remains higher than the 9.1% at the end of January but lower than the 10.0% of a year ago.

Underemployment Declines in March

Underemployment combines part-time workers wanting full-time work with those who are unemployed. Both groups' readings fell in March; consequently, underemployment also fell, to 19.3% from 19.9% in mid-March and at the end of February. Underemployment was more than a full percentage point higher one year ago.


ADP on Wednesday reported that U.S. private-sector jobs increased by 201,000 in March -- the third consecutive month at this level of job growth. At the same time, Challenger, Gray & Christmas showed a sharp decline in March U.S. layoffs compared with last year. All of this is consistent with Gallup's Job Creation Index, which has shown slightly more jobs being created and comparatively low layoffs during the first quarter of 2011.

However, contrary to the federal government's recent job reports, Gallup's unemployment and underemployment measures suggest that recent job increases have not been sufficient to significantly improve the jobs situation so far in 2011. Although both of Gallup's measures were marginally better in March, they remain higher now than they were in January.

The March improvement in the jobs situation compared with February may be partly the result of seasonal hiring patterns, with companies increasing their hiring at this time of year. However, the 2010 jobs situation didn't show substantial improvement until the second half of April. Regardless, the decline in the underemployment rate year-over-year is consistent with a cautious hiring approach in which employers avoid layoffs while taking on more part-time workers and limiting their hiring of full-time employees.

Despite the March uptick, Gallup's view of the U.S. jobs situation remains substantially less optimistic than the government's recent unemployment report might suggest. Added to this, late March Gallup Daily tracking results show a continuing decline in economic optimism, a pullback in consumer spending, and a drop in Gallup's Job Creation Index. This suggests that recent behavior on Main Street does not reflect the government's rosier assessment. It also implies that the recent marginal improvement Gallup finds may be more temporary than one might hope.

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posted April 01, 2011 07:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Node     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I like the positivity of what you read this day better than what I am reading....
At a time most employees can barely remember their last substantial raise, median CEO pay jumped 27% in 2010 as the executives’ compensation started working its way back to prerecession levels, a USA TODAY analysis of data from GovernanceMetrics International found. Workers in private industry, meanwhile, saw their compensation grow just 2.1% in the 12 months ended December 2010, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Median CEO pay is 9 million dollars a year.

And you have to admit that they really are good at their jobs if their job is strictly defined as a rising stock price. They've all done very well at that. But one can't help but wonder on what rational basis these stocks are rising if the only people in the country with any money to spend are in the top 1%. (In fact, when stocks rise precipitously without any fundamental basis, we usually call that a bubble.)

with foreclosure still in bold print, and food prices going to monkey poo, I need cheering.

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posted April 13, 2011 12:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AcousticGod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
U.S. Economy: Retail Sales Increase for Ninth Straight Month

April 13, 2011, 12:05 PM EDT
By Shobhana Chandra

April 13 (Bloomberg) -- Sales at U.S. retailers rose in March for a ninth consecutive month, easing concern that the jump in food and fuel costs would cause consumers to retrench.

Purchases increased 0.4 percent following a 1.1 percent February gain that was larger than previously estimated, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. A report from the Labor Department showed job openings in February jumped by the most in six years.

Declining unemployment and a cut in payroll taxes for 2011 are helping sustain sales at chains like Macy’s Inc. and Saks Inc. At the same time, mounting gasoline and grocery bills are eroding confidence and straining paychecks, making it likely consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy, cooled in the first quarter from the final three months of 2010.

“The data point to pretty resilient consumer spending,” said John Herrmann, a senior fixed-income strategist at State Street Global Markets LLC in Boston. “Although there was concern about the tax that higher gasoline prices are imposing, consumers basically shrugged off those headwinds. We have a better labor market, with job growth.”

Stocks fell for a fifth day, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index declining less than 0.1 percent to 1,313.31 at 11:58 a.m. in New York. Treasuries were little changed, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year note at 3.49 percent.

The median forecast of 82 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 0.5 percent rise in retail sales. Economists’ estimates ranged from a drop of 0.5 percent to a 2 percent gain. The Commerce Department also revised up its readings for sales in January and February.

Job Openings

Job openings rose by 352,000 in February, the biggest gain since December 2004, the Labor Department said today. At 3.09 million, the number of positions waiting to be filled was the highest since September 2008.

Another report from the Commerce Department also showed inventories rose 0.5 percent in February after a revised 1 percent gain in January that was larger than initially estimated. The amount of goods on hand at retailers compared to sales dropped to the lowest level on record, indicating merchants will be placing more orders to rebuild stocks, contributing to growth and helping keep manufacturing as the expansion’s frontrunner.

The retail sales report showed 10 of 13 major categories showed gains last month, led by the biggest increase in furniture demand since 2004 and the largest advance in electronics purchases in a year.

Figures for GDP

Excluding autos, gasoline and building materials, which are the figures used to calculate gross domestic product, sales rose 0.4 percent after a 1.1 percent increase the prior month that was almost twice as large as previously estimated.

“While it’s early days, this is a strong vote of confidence in favor of consumption being able to withstand the shock of higher gasoline prices,” Jay Feldman, an economist at Credit Suisse in New York, said in an e-mail to clients. “Continued improvement in the labor market is of course key.”

The economy created 216,000 jobs in March, the most since May 2010, while the jobless rate fell for a fourth straight month to a two-year low of 8.8 percent, Labor Department data showed April 1.

Cincinnati-based Macy’s, the second-largest U.S. department-store chain, reported same-store sales rose last month, while analysts forecast a decline. Luxury retailers Saks, Nordstrom Inc. and Neiman Marcus Group Inc. also topped estimates.

Fuel Costs

Today’s retail sales report also showed the impact of rising gasoline prices. Filling station receipts climbed 2.6 percent, probably propelled by the higher cost of fuel. Purchases aren’t adjusted for inflation.

The cost of regular fuel averaged $3.54 a gallon in March, up from $3.18 the prior month, according to AAA, the nation’s biggest motoring organization. The price jumped to $3.81 a gallon on April 12, the highest since September 2008.

Sales fell 1.7 percent at automobile dealers, today’s report showed. That’s consistent with industrywide light-vehicle sales, which ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 13.1 million in March, down from 13.4 million the prior month, according to researcher Autodata Corp.

Nonetheless, auto demand has improved from last year. Sales at Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford Motor Co. climbed 16 percent in March from the same time in 2010, outpacing Detroit-based General Motors Co.’s 9.6 percent gain.

‘Solid Signs’

“We continue to see good, solid signs of progress despite some of the challenges,” Don Johnson, GM’s vice president of U.S. sales operations, said on an April 1 conference call. “A recovering job market is going to be the most important factor for the U.S. economy at this stage, and we do anticipate that this is going to continue to improve.”

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s biggest retailer, is among chains saying customers are feeling the pinch from rising fuel expenses.

“We still see our customer financially strapped,” Rosalind Brewer, president of the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company’s Wal-Mart East division, said in an investor presentation on April 12. We see the shopper’s “wallet being stretched a lot more.”

--With assistance from Bob Willis and Alex Kowalski in Washington. Editors: Carlos Torres, Vince Golle

To contact the reporter on this story: Shobhana Chandra in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at


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posted April 14, 2011 11:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AcousticGod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
AP analysis: US economic stress eased in February

By MIKE SCHNEIDER and MARTIN CRUTSINGER, Associated Press Mike Schneider And Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press – 1 hr 14 mins ago
Thanks to lower unemployment and fewer bankruptcies, the nation's economic stress edged down in February as all but five states strengthened from January, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis.

Three states that were hit hardest by the recession and have suffered since — Florida, Arizona and Georgia — enjoyed the sharpest gains in February.

Unemployment declined or remained the same in more than three-quarters of the nation's 3,141 counties and in 43 states, the AP's Economic Stress Index showed. Bankruptcies declined in more than half the counties and in 41 states. Still, foreclosures rose in more than half the counties and in 27 states.

The AP's index calculates a score from 1 to 100 based on unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy rates. A higher score signals more economic stress.

The average county's stress score in February was 11, down from 11.2 in January. A year ago, the average score was 11.8. Under a rough rule of thumb, a county is considered stressed when its score exceeds 11.

Economists expect further improvements this year as employers step up hiring. The unemployment rate fell to 8.8 percent in March, the lowest level in two years. The rate has fallen a full percentage point in just four months.

"The job market is much better now than it has been," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics.

Zandi predicts economic growth this year of around 3.2 percent, up from 2.9 percent last year. But his forecast has dimmed from the 3.9 percent growth he had predicted for 2011 at the start of the year, before energy prices jumped.

The AP's index found that the only states not to strengthen in February over January were Maine, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico and Wisconsin. All had higher or unchanged unemployment rates and, except for New Mexico, higher foreclosure rates in February.

The counties with the lowest economic stress in February had large proportions of workers in farming, mining, wholesale trade, information technology, finance and professional jobs, according to the AP's analysis. By contrast, counties with the highest stress had many workers in retail, real estate and support jobs.

Though squeezed by strained state budgets, the counties that are home to state capitals had an average stress score of 10.1 in February, well below the national average. In particular, the counties that are home to the capitals of North Dakota and Nebraska benefit from economies that are among the top 15 healthiest for counties with at least 25,000 residents.

Hughes County, home to South Dakota's capital, also was among the nation's healthiest, though its population is only about 17,000.

The healthier economies weren't limited to counties occupied by state governments. The four counties that surround Washington, D.C., and include tens of thousands of federal workers, had stress scores significantly lower than the national average.

Alexandria and Arlington counties in Virginia and Montgomery and Prince George's counties in Maryland had an average combined stress score of 6.6.

State capital counties, and those surrounding the nation's capital, are faring better than the rest of the nation despite spending cuts. In part, that's because government still generates many private-sector jobs for law firms, lobbyists and trade associations, said Jim Philipps, a spokesman for the National Association of Counties in Washington.

In addition, "restaurants, hotels and other private businesses that cater to white collar government policy-making centers are more likely to do well, or at least hang on, even in tough times," Philipps said.

As in previous months, the economically healthiest states were in the Plains and New England: North Dakota (5.21), Nebraska (5.93), South Dakota (6.16), Vermont (6.54) and New Hampshire (7.47).

Stress levels fell in February even in the five states with the highest stress scores. Nevada remained the most stressed state with a score of 21.16. It was followed by California (16.24), Florida (15.2), Arizona (14.57) and Michigan (14.35).

Two of those states, Arizona and Florida, saw the biggest drops in stress among all states in February.

Arizona added jobs in mining, transportation, finance, education and health services.

Florida's unemployment rate of 11.5 percent was much higher than the nation's 8.8 percent in February. But among all states, it added the third-most number of jobs — around 23,000 positions. The bulk of those job gains were in tourism and health care.

"What you're seeing in Florida is a labor market that is now just starting to get back on its feet," said Sean Snaith, an economist at the University of Central Florida.

"The metaphor I've been using for Florida's economy is a jumbo jet that is just at the start of its runway, and 2011 is that runway ... But the reality is we don't really take off until we get to the end of that runway in 2012, 2013."

Georgia added nearly 15,000 jobs in February in professional and business services, health, education, construction, transportation, tourism and manufacturing.

The most stressed counties with at least 25,000 residents were Imperial County, Calif. (30.77); Lyon County, Nev. (27.35); Merced County, Calif. (26.16); Sutter County, Calif. (25.99); and Nye County, Nev. (25.68).

The least stressed were Ellis County, Kan. (4.14); Buffalo County, Neb. (4.46); Arlington County, Va. (4.55); Ward County, N.D. (4.61); and Ford County, Kan. (4.68).


Schneider reported from Orlando, Fla., Crutsinger from Washington.


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posted April 28, 2011 04:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AcousticGod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Vice President Joe Biden says more jobs were created in the last year than in all eight years under George Bush

Vice President Joe Biden loves campaigning in Ohio. He did so 15 times during the 2010 Midterm elections for various state and federal candidates.

But Democrats still suffered a "shellacking," he joked during an April 19 campaign fundraiser in Cleveland for U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, who faces re-election next year.

Citing positive economic news, Biden insisted, however, that the political debate about his administration’s policies now favors Democrats.

"A lot of things we took a shellacking for, the American public has had an opportunity to take a good look at now," he said.

Biden noted the improving unemployment rate. And he added this comparison: "We have created more jobs in this last year than the Bush administration (did) in eight years. We are in a position where we are moving to toward creating an average of 220,000 jobs a month. Not enough, but we are moving."

PolitiFact Ohio likes comparisons and decided to examine this one because it’s emerging as a key Democratic talking point. When checking out job figures, PolitiFact turns to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the official score keeper of U.S. employment numbers.

The BLS numbers are based on monthly surveys of employers. It updates the monthly figure as employers complete their surveys and it incorporates into the monthly figure a more complete quarterly census of employment and wages.

First, we can quickly dispense with the Biden’s lead-in: That the unemployment rate is improving.

In March, the national unemployment rate dropped for the fourth consecutive month. At 8.8 percent, the rate is down from a recession peak of 10.1 in Oct. 2009, according to the BLS.

Also, we can dispense with the last part: "We are moving to toward creating an average of 220,000 jobs a month. Not enough, but we are moving." Since it’s not really a statement of fact and includes a prediction, we’ll leave that to be examined down the road.

But how about the Obama vs. Bush job comparison?

The number of jobs as of February 2001, the first full month of Bush’s presidency, was 132.53 million. The number of jobs as of January 2009, the month he left office, was 133.56 million. That’s a net gain 1.03 million jobs.

To checkout Biden’s claim, we looked back 12 months, from March 2010 to March of 2011. (Though Biden made remarks this month, April figures have not yet been tallied.)

The number of jobs in March 2010 was 129.43 million. The number of jobs in March 2011 is 130.73 million. The net gain during the last year is 1.3 million jobs.

That means 270,000 more jobs were created in the last 12 months than the net total of jobs at the end of Bush’s two terms.

A familiar detour, or caveat, is in order. Typically, the most recent BLS monthly job figures are preliminary and will change as surveys are completed and figures are updated. That means the 270,000 edge for the Obama administration could increase -- or disappear.

Politifact also frequently points that when framing job figures, slicing and timing make all the difference.

Republicans, for instance, like to frame the jobs story this way: The U.S. has lost a total of 2.09 million jobs since Obama’s first full-month in office in February 2009. That’s true. Of course, looking at this way shortchanges the impact of the deep recession Obama inherited and the recent economic growth.

Likewise, Democrats shortchange Bush when they ignore that the U.S. created more than 5.6 million jobs through January 2008, when the recession began to take hold.

The bottom line is that the recession, which officially began in Dec. 2007, hurt the job record of both presidents.

So where does that leave Biden’s statement?

He’s correct about the declining unemployment rate. He’s also accurate about the gains made in the last year. The figure also falls within the context that the recovery has been slow and painful but the job picture is improving of late, albeit slowly.

Understanding how he slices job numbers in his comparison is a point that provides clarification. On the Truth-O-Meter, we rate Biden’s statement as Mostly True.

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posted April 28, 2011 08:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jwhop     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yeah, Joe O'Biden also says the legislative branch of government is authorized by Article II of the Constitution.

Joe O'Biden also says the Vice President of the United States only role in the US Senate is to break ties.

Joe O'Biden also says that immediately when the stock market crashed in 1929, President Roosevelt went on national television to reasure the nation.

Old Joe Plugs sounds like a gaffe machine...the Gaffe-O-Matic VP.

So, if O'Bomber/O'Biden created all those jobs...more than in 8 years of the Bush administration...then, how come when Bush left office the unemployment rate was 7.6% and under the dud duo it's 8.8% and has been as high as 10.1%?

Well, O'Biden isn't the sharpest thumbtack in the corkboard, not the sharpest knife in the drawer and not the brightest bulb in the marque.

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posted April 29, 2011 12:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jwhop     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The folks aren't drinking the Kool-Aid now!

Obama’s Approval Remains at All-Time Low for Second Week in Row, Says Gallup
Thursday, April 28, 2011
By Terence P. Jeffrey

President Barack Obama’s weekly approval rating remained at its all-time low for the second straight week, according to the Gallup poll.

In the week of April 11-17 and again in the week of April 18-24, 43 percent of the Americans polled by Gallup said they approved of the job Obama was doing as president.

That matched the all-time low for Obama’s weekly approval in the Gallup poll. Previously, Obama had earned a 43 percent approval rating in the back-to-back weeks of Aug. 16-22, 2010 and Aug. 23-29, 2010.

Obama’s weekly approval rating peaked at 67 percent in the week of Jan. 19-25, 2009—the week he was inaugurated.

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posted April 29, 2011 03:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AcousticGod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Comparatively, Obama's ninth-quarter average ranks in the lower range for elected presidents, better than the averages for Ronald Reagan (38.8%) and Jimmy Carter (41.2%) and about the same as Bill Clinton's (45.7%). Richard Nixon is the other elected president with a ninth-quarter average below 50%. The other presidents were all above 60%, including the elder George Bush, who averaged 82.7% approval in the quarter that included the United States' victory in the 1991 Persian Gulf War against Iraq.

Most presidents' approval ratings went down or were flat between their 9th and 10th quarters in office.

Reagan and Clinton, both of whom had ninth-quarter averages similar to or lower than Obama's, showed significant improvement in their 10th quarter and were re-elected the following year.

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posted May 04, 2011 11:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AcousticGod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
AP analysis: Economic stress drops to 3-month low

By MIKE SCHNEIDER and MARTIN CRUTSINGER, Associated Press Mike Schneider And Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press – Wed May 4, 7:21 am ET

Lower unemployment, bankruptcies and foreclosures in March reduced the nation's economic stress to its lowest point this year, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis of conditions around the country.

More than 85 percent of the nation's 3,141 counties and every state but two — Louisiana and South Dakota — enjoyed better conditions in March than in February, the AP's Economic Stress Index showed.

Manufacturing activity, a major driver of economic growth since the recession ended in June 2009, has helped ease hardship in the Great Lakes states and Indiana over the past 12 months — more than in any other region.

By contrast, Louisiana, Iowa and the Mountain states of Idaho and Montana have suffered the sharpest increases in stress, year over year.

Post-Hurricane Katrina construction projects are winding down in Louisiana. The Mountain states have felt the effects of government job cuts more severely than elsewhere because of their small populations. And Iowa has suffered an increase in foreclosures.

The AP's index calculates a score from 1 to 100 based on unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy rates. A higher score signals more economic stress.

The average county's Stress score was 10.5 in March, the lowest level since December. It was 11 in February and 11.5 a year earlier.

Under a rough rule of thumb, a county is considered stressed when its score exceeds 11. Using that rule, less than one-third of the counties were stressed in March, down from nearly 40 percent in February.

Unemployment in March declined or was unchanged from February in every state but South Dakota and in nearly 90 percent of the counties. Bankruptcies dipped in 43 states and 70 percent of the counties. And foreclosures dropped in 44 states and in more than 70 percent of counties.

In March, economic strains eased the most in counties with heavy concentrations of workers in manufacturing, retail and temporary staffing jobs. By contrast, stress rose the most in counties with many workers in wholesale trade and mining.

The government reported last week that the overall economy's growth slowed sharply to an annual rate of just 1.8 percent from January through March. That was down sharply from a 3.1 percent rate in the final three months of 2010.

Many economists think the slowdown will be temporary. Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, thinks growth will rebound to nearly 3 percent in the current April-June quarter. He predicts it will strengthen further to around 3.5 percent in the second half of the year.

The unemployment rate, now 8.8 percent, will dip possibly as low as 8 percent by year's end, Behravesh says. He says the economy should be able to withstand this year's jump in gasoline prices.

"Gasoline prices at around $4 per gallon will be a headwind, but they would have to go quite a bit higher to derail things," Behravesh said.

Among all the most economically precarious states, stress levels declined in March. Nevada was again the most stressed state, with a score of 20.67. Next were California (16.19), Florida (14.52), Michigan (14.23) and Arizona (14.23). Still, thanks to gains in tourism, stress has declined more sharply in Nevada and Florida than in any other states over the past six months.

North Dakota remained the economically strongest state with a score of 4.89. It was followed by Nebraska, (5.7), South Dakota (6.27), Vermont (6.51) and New Hampshire (6.85).

Expanding production of steel, autos and heavy equipment has helped many Midwestern states. Even Elkhart County, Ind., which as a poster child for the recession drew a visit from President Barack Obama, has been benefiting from manufacturing — and not just from its bedrock industry of recreational vehicles.

Electric vehicle maker Think is opening a plant in Elkhart. And the county's economic development board is negotiating to land 11 other projects from companies in Britain, China and Norway that want to expand in the United States, said Dorinda Heiden-Guss of Elkhart's Economic Development Corp.

About 40 percent of workers are employed in manufacturing in Elkhart County, whose Stress score was 13.36 in March, down from 22.28 two years ago. The county's notoriety as a casualty of the recession might have put it on the radar of the international companies now looking to open plants there. The greater availability of financing also helped.

"Banks loosened up," said Heiden-Guss.

Louisiana has endured the sharpest rise in stress over the past year. With a Stress score of 9.55 in March, the state was still faring better than the nation as a whole. But Louisiana has suffered job losses in construction. And tougher federal scrutiny since the BP oil spill has led to state government cuts and the loss of more than a half dozen drill ships.

"We're still way better off than the national economy," said Loren Scott, a Baton Rouge-based economist. "But we're coming down, on the construction side, from extraordinary peaks."

The most-stressed counties with populations of at least 25,000 were concentrated in California and Nevada, two of the states with the highest unemployment and foreclosure rates. At the top was Imperial County, Calif., with a Stress score of 28.52. It was followed by Lyon County, Nev. (27.86), Sutter County, Calif. (26.42), Merced County, Calif. (26.18) and San Benito, Calif. (25.2).

The healthiest counties were Ellis County, Kan. (4.06), Buffalo County, Neb. (4.43), Arlington County, Va. (4.53), Ward County, N.D. (4.54) and Burleigh County, N.D. (4.65).


Schneider reported from Orlando, Fla., Crutsinger from Washington.

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posted May 05, 2011 03:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jwhop     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Data hints at slowdown in job creation
On Thursday May 5, 2011, 2:14 pm
By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing for jobless aid rose to an eight-month high last week and productivity growth slowed in the first quarter, clouding the outlook for an economy that is struggling to gain speed.

While the surprise jump in initial claims for unemployment benefits was blamed on factors ranging from spring break layoffs to the introduction of an emergency benefits program, economists said it corroborated reports this week indicating a loss of momentum in job creation.

New claims for state jobless benefits rose 43,000 to 474,000, the highest since mid-August, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists had expected claims to fall......

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posted May 05, 2011 03:27 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
yes and when the budget cuts come through there will be even more layoffs. that nasty employer, the fed, will be saving taxpayers money by trimming down, right? except it will also be creating new unemployment claims and what those workers save in taxes they will lose several times over in wages, as will the economy.

i notice sarah palin has backed off of accusing obama of creating the whole deficit. though she still claims he "had a hand in it" it is obvious even to the hoi-polloi that most of it was already in place before he got to the white house.

"reagan proved deficits don't matter"..dick cheney

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posted May 05, 2011 04:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jwhop     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cutting the federal budget and lowering tax rates on jobs producers will not cause more unemployment.

Those measures are the cure for unemployment in America...and the sooner the better.

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posted May 05, 2011 07:34 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
and now, jwhop, you can be proud of the "free market" doing its job, and bringing oil prices down. our "overweening" government didn't have to meddle in the oil market at all! aren't you pleased? you were right!

oh, but you thought the government should intervene in this case, and reverse its policy to ease the strain at the pumps, didn't you? just like when bush was in the oval office..even though reopening drilling is a process that takes years to bear fruit...

i notice also that even sarah palin is not blaming obama for singlehandedly putting us in this deficit any's just too obvious to everybody that it was largely in-place when he took office.

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posted May 05, 2011 07:37 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cutting the federal budget and lowering tax rates on jobs producers will not cause more unemployment.

tell that to the laid off folk in wisconsin whose services are being cut left right and center to PAY FOR the tax cuts to the job producers installed by their new governor. you know, the tax cuts that CREATED the budget deficit that HAS to be paid for by cutting state jobs, wages, services to schools and libraries...

there's a lot of garbage in the name of regulation in our government, i agree, but much of it is the DIRECT RESULT of lobbying and corruption in congress and senate, not the over zealous commies trying to put you in a straitjacket. though i admit there are several of them around too, they are the asinine few who don't understand that killing the workers kills the queen too!

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posted May 06, 2011 11:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AcousticGod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Economy posts largest job gains in 11 months

By Lucia Mutikani Lucia Mutikani – 2 hrs 27 mins ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. private employers shrugged off high energy prices to add jobs at the fastest pace in five years in April, pointing to underlying strength in the economy, even as the jobless rate rose to 9.0 percent.

Private sector hiring, including a big jump in the retail sector, boosted overall nonfarm payrolls by 244,000, the largest increase in 11 months, the Labor Department said, beating economists' expectations for a 186,000 gain.

The private sector job gains of 268,000 were the biggest since February 2006 and accounted for all the jobs created last month. The data was supportive of views the economic recovery would regain speed this quarter after stumbling in the first three months of the year on high food and energy prices.

The data also contrasted with signs of slowing in the labor market.

"We're getting close to the point where we are seeing sustainable job growth. That creates income that generates spending and, hopefully, more jobs," said Gary Thayer, chief macro strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Louis, Missouri.

"We still have a lot of people unemployed. That holds things back," he said.


The U.S. economy has now created jobs for seven straight months, but gains have been too meager to make much of dent on the pool of 13.7 million Americans out of work.

Figures for the previous two months were revised to show 46,000 more jobs added.

The unemployment rate backed away from a two-year low of 8.8 percent. It is derived from a separate survey of households, which showed a decline in employment and a modest rise in the size of the labor force.

U.S. stock index futures extended gains, while U.S. bond prices extended losses. The dollar rose further against the euro and yen.

The unemployment rate has dropped a full percentage point since November and the latest rise will strengthen the Federal Reserve's resolve to stick to its ultra-easy monetary policy stance.

The Fed last month signaled it was in no hurry to start withdrawing its massive stimulus for the economy, even as other major central banks around the world have begun to raise interest rates.

"To us it looks like a good recovery taking place in payrolls. We think employment is recovering strongly and will continue to do so throughout 2011," said Michael Shaoul, chairman of Marketfield Asset Management in New York.

High gasoline and food prices clipped U.S. economic growth in first quarter. The economy grew at a 1.8 percent annual rate after expanding at a 3.1 percent clip in the final three months of last year.

The economy has recovered only a fraction of the more than 8 million jobs lost in the 2007-2009 recession. Job growth of between 250,000 and 300,000 a month is needed to make significant strides in reducing unemployment.

Details of the April employment report were generally upbeat with the exception of government employment, which contracted for a sixth straight month in April, shedding 24,000.

The bulk of gains in payrolls last month were in the private services sector, which added 224,000 after 194,000 jobs March. Within that segment, retail saw a surge of 57,100 jobs and leisure and hospitality added 46,000 positions.

Employment in the goods-producing industries increased 44,000, with construction payrolls climbing by 5,000 and manufacturing hiring gaining 29,000, adding to the 22,000 jobs created in March.

The employment report also showed the average workweek unchanged at 34.3 hours for a third straight month and no sign of wage inflation, with average hourly earnings rising a mere 3 cents.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Neil Stempleman)

Sorry Jwhop. The good news just keeps coming in despite any attempt by Conservatives to talk it down (as you used to accuse Democrats of doing).

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posted May 06, 2011 12:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jwhop     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yeah, jobless claims went up, not down but UP...jobless claim, a filing for unemployment compensation.

And still, the O'Bomber drooling press are attempting to spin the economic news as a giant positive for O'Bomber.

Oh, and by the way, unemployment also went up for the month of April to 9%...and the drooling O'Bomber press spin that as good news OR simply don't report the rise in unemployment at all.

Real unemployment and under employment is about 17% in the US. That's the U-6 number and it's a more true picture of the US economy.

Trying to put a happy face on the O'Bomber economic disaster simply isn't going to work.

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posted May 07, 2011 03:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AcousticGod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Economy adds 244K jobs, jobless rate up to 9 pct.

By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer – Fri May 6, 3:15 pm ET

WASHINGTON – Companies created 268,000 jobs in April, the most since February 2006. The gains were widespread. Retailers, factories, financial companies, education and health care and even construction companies all added jobs.

After subtracting cuts by federal, state and local governments, the economy added 244,000 net jobs last month, the Labor Department said Friday. That marked the third straight month in which more than 200,000 jobs were created, the best three month hiring spree in five years. Job gains in March and February were even stronger than first reported.

The unemployment rate ticked up to 9 percent from 8.8 percent in March, the first increase since November. The government uses a separate survey to calculate the unemployment rate. The survey sometimes diverges from a separate survey used to number of jobs employers added.

The latest employment figures suggest businesses are confident in the economy despite weak growth earlier this year and soaring gas prices. Stocks rose after the employment report was released. The Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 168 points in morning trading.

Companies are finally starting to spend the nearly $2 trillion in cash that they stockpiled after the recession ended in June 2009, economists say. Businesses are gaining confidence in their sales and the economy's ability to grow, despite some obstacles.

"It is a sign of relief. Economic momentum has not been lost," said Sung won Sohn, economist at California State University. "Surprisingly, the rising energy prices have not made a significant dent in businesses' willingness to hire, indicating that their optimism on the economy has not faded."

The positive jobs report completes a strong week for President Barack Obama, who announced earlier in the week that a team of Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Workers' paychecks edged up in April. Average hourly earnings rose to $22.95, up from $22.93 in March.

All told there were 13.7 million people unemployed in April, still almost double since before the recession began in December 2007.

Including part-time workers who would rather be working full time, plus people who have given up looking altogether, the percentage of "underemployed" people rose to 15.9 percent in April.

To calculate the unemployment rate, the government calls 60,000 households and asks people if they're working or looking for a job. This survey includes the self-employed, farm workers and domestic help — people not counted in the payroll survey.

For the payroll survey, the government seeks input from about 140,000 businesses and government agencies to determine the number of jobs added.

Most analysts agree the economy has strengthened enough to keep growing this year. And many say the factors that held back growth at the start of the year were most likely temporary. They predict growth will pick up over the rest of the year.

There have been some positive signs. Retailers reported strong April sales, helped by a late Easter. Auto companies reported brisk sales. And factories have expanded production this year at the fastest pace in a quarter-century.

Economists' prediction for a pickup in overall growth is based, however, on gasoline prices stabilizing in the months ahead and then dropping to around $3.50 a gallon or lower near the end of the year.

Gas prices had risen for 44 straight days before holding steady Friday at a national average of roughly $3.99 a gallon.

"The U.S. labor market strengthened in April, damping concerns that rising energy costs are staunching the recovery, said Sal Guatieri, an economist at BMO Capital Markets Economics.

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posted July 07, 2011 06:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AcousticGod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Private hiring jumps, sparking recovery hopes

By Lucia Mutikani | Reuters – 5 hrs ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Companies hired four times more workers in June than in May, strengthening views the economy was starting to escape the doldrums of the first half of the year.

A drop in the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits last week also offered hope for the labor market, although they remain too high to signal robust growth.

Payrolls processor ADP said on Thursday private sector employment increased 157,000 after a modest 36,000 gain in May, a rise more than double economists' expectations.

With gasoline prices falling, automakers cranking up production and the decline in house values moderating, the dark clouds over the U.S. economy are starting to lift.

The jump in private employment was the latest indication the economy was pulling out of its first-half slump, a view bolstered by better-than-expected June sales at retailers, but analysts still see only a modest recovery ahead.

"It adds to the sense of relief that much of the slowdown that the economy endured during the first half of the year was due to temporary factors and there is not much threat of a double-dip (recession)," said Mark Vitner, an economist at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The employment gain, which reflected increases in manufacturing and services jobs, prompted several Wall Street banks to raise their forecasts for the government's closely watched nonfarm payrolls count for June due on Friday.

A Reuters survey conducted last week found that economists were looking for an increase of 90,000 nonfarm jobs after May's meager 54,000 gain. But economists now believe employment probably rose anywhere between 125,000 and 175,000.

"ADP has underpredicted the monthly jobs report by 45,000 on average the last four months ... but ADP estimates have won new credibility after their forecast hit May's weak jobs number correctly," said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in New York.


Gains in private hiring last month were largely across the board, although construction and financial services' payrolls shrank. Small businesses, those with less than 50 employees, accounted for most of the hiring, adding 88,000 jobs. Large companies added only 10,000 workers in June, according to ADP.

"While it is just one month's number, it suggests that maybe what happened was a pause in the economic expansion and as we head into the summer months we're going to pick up some momentum," said Joel Prakken, chairman at Macroeconomic Advisers, which produces the report jointly with ADP.

Economic activity in the first six months of the year was curbed by rising commodity prices and supply chain disruptions following Japan's devastating earthquake in March.

With these factors starting to ease, economists expect both growth and employment to rise in the third quarter.

That is starting to show in initial claims for state unemployment benefits, which dropped 14,000 to 418,000 last week. A shortage of parts from Japan forced some auto makers to bring forward their annual retooling shutdowns from July, keeping initial claims elevated.

Still, claims remained above the 400,000 level that is usually associated with a stable labor market for a 13th straight week. Economists expect them to decline considerably in the weeks ahead as auto assembly plants reopen.

"Output and employment are likely to get a little bit of a lift in the third quarter from a rebound in automobile assemblies and a rebound in inventories that would probably carry through most of the second half of the year," said Wells Fargo Securities' Vitner.

Signs of a turnaround in the economy's fortunes were also offered by several U.S. retailers who reported better-than-expected sales gains in June as they lured shoppers with discounts without undercutting revenue.

Macy's Inc, Costco Wholesale Corp, Target Corp and Gap Inc all beat Wall Street estimates.

(Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr in New York; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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posted July 08, 2011 08:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jwhop     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Since AP, Reuters, the NY Times and/or Yahoo news are not the deciders of economic activity or US employment numbers, you could have and should have waited one (1) day for the "official results" which were released this morning.

U.S. Payrolls Rose 18,000 in June; Jobless Rate Climbed to 9.2%
By Shobhana Chandra - Jul 8, 2011 8:30 AM ET

U.S. employers added 18,000 workers in June, less than forecast and the fewest in nine months, while the unemployment rate unexpectedly climbed, indicating a struggling labor market.

The increase in payrolls followed a 25,000 gain that was less than half the rise initially estimated, Labor Department data showed today in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey called for a June gain of 105,000. The unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent, the highest level this year. Hiring by companies, which excludes government agencies, was the weakest since May 2010.

The absence of stronger job growth caused earnings to stagnate in June, which may keep a lid on consumer spending that accounts for 70 percent of the economy. The second-quarter slowdown in hiring underscores a recovery that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said is “frustratingly slow.”

“Firms are hesitant to commit to taking on new employees when customer demand is uncertain,” Guy LeBas, chief fixed- income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Philadelphia, said before the report. ‘It suggests consumer demand is sputtering. We’ll see downwardly revised third-quarter forecasts.”

Estimates of the 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg for overall payrolls ranged from increases of 40,000 to 175,000.

The unemployment rate was forecast to hold at 9.1 percent, according to the survey median. Estimates ranged from 8.9 percent to 9.2 percent.

Participate Rate Falls

The jobless rate rose even as the participation rate declined to 64.1 percent, the lowest since March 1984. The household survey showed a 445,000 decrease in employment and a 173,000 increase in unemployment.

Private hiring, which excludes government agencies, rose 57,000 last month after a 73,000 gain. It was projected to rise by 132,000, the survey showed.

Factory payrolls rose by 6,000 in June after a 2,000 decline in the previous month.

Employment at service-providers increased 14,000 in June, the least since a decline in September. Construction employment fell 9,000 workers and retailers added 5,200 employees.

Government payrolls declined by 39,000 in June, the eighth straight decline. Employment at state and local governments declined by 25,000.

Average hourly earnings fell 1 cent to $22.99, today’s report showed. The average work week for all workers dropped to 34.3 hours, from 34.4 hours the prior month.

Underemployment Rises

The so-called underemployment rate -- which includes part- time workers who’d prefer a full-time position and people who want work but have given up looking -- increased to 16.2 percent from 15.8 percent.

The number of temporary workers decreased 12,000. Payrolls at temporary-help agencies often slows as companies seeing a steady increase in demand take on permanent staff.

Recent figures had signaled the economy was starting to perk up after slowing in the first half of the year. Companies added twice as many workers as forecast last month, data from ADP Employer Services showed yesterday. An Institute for Supply Management report last week showed manufacturing unexpectedly accelerated in June.

Policy makers “expect the unemployment rate to continue to decline but the pace of progress remains frustrating slow,” Bernanke said at a news conference after the central bank’s June 21-22 monetary policy meeting.

Slower Growth

The economy expanded at a 1.9 percent annual rate in the first three months of the year, and economists surveyed by Bloomberg from June 28 to July 7 forecast second-quarter growth of 2 percent. In the final three months of 2010, the economy grew 3.1 percent.

Fed officials have said the slowdown in economic growth in the first and second quarters partly reflected temporary factors. Manufacturers were hurt by supply disruptions in the aftermath of the earthquake in Japan, at the same time the surge in gasoline expenses limited spending on non-essential items by American consumers.

“The labor market is improving slowly,” Jenny Lin, senior U.S. economist at Ford Motor Co., said on a teleconference with analysts on July 1. “The economy is facing two temporary factors, which slowed growth --the fuel price run-up and Japan impact. Both of these are reversing now and set the stage for some improved readings in the months ahead.”

Companies reducing staff include Lockheed Martin Corp., the world’s largest defense contractor. Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed on June 30 said it plans to cut about 1,500 employees. McLean, Virginia-based Gannett Co., the publisher of 82 newspapers including USA Today, also announced last month it is eliminating about 700 jobs.

Obama Presidency

Lack of faster progress in the labor market and in the economic recovery, which started in June 2009, has taken a toll on President Barack Obama’s approval ratings. Since he took office in January 2009, unemployment has increased by about a percentage point and the economy has lost 2.5 million jobs.

By a 44 percent to 34 percent margin, Americans say they believe they are worse off than when Obama took office, according to a Bloomberg National Poll conducted June 17-20.

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posted July 08, 2011 11:07 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
1922-1924 The US’ economy gets up off its ass for a decade of winning.

1951-53 The US’ economy gets up off its ass for a decade of winning.

1981-1983 The US’ economy gets up off its ass for a decade of winning.

Unless you have suffered serious brain damage, you may see a pattern emerging. When America hits its Saturn return, it usually reforms its economic policies and a cycle of prosperity follows. We can see the will for economic reform everywhere these days. In fact, it something that the Republicans, Democrats and Tea Party all agree on. Just not how.

Pluto’s return brings a nation’s dark secrets to light. Pluto in Capricorn reveals America’s hidden economic stratification, suppressed class conflict and hidden oligarchy (plutocracy). Corporate excess in the last decade has made it increasingly clear that the US is in not a level playing field. Class conflict is bubbling to the surface and the plutocracy is becoming clearer every day. Huge corporations have won the right to fund political candidates, keep the “little people” from suing them and treat their financial wounds with taxpayer cash.

These events are stirring dissent, no doubt, but much of the dissent (Tea Party) seems to have been effectively funneled into pro-corporate policies. This dissent will no doubt continue under the auspices of the Uranus-Pluto squares, and some victories won to stay the tide of Plutocracy. However, from a strictly astrological viewpoint, Pluto is in the superior position, and the dissent is not likely to reverse the direction things are moving. All in all, Pluto in Capricorn seems to be narrating the triumph of Corporate power over State power.

Astrologically, Pluto in Capricorn is one of the key factors in the ongoing depression afflicting the US economy. The small, dark dwarf planet as been opposing the US’ natal Venus and Jupiter in Cancer for the last several years. Collectively known as the Benefics, Venus and Jupiter represent the fortunate, luxurious, expansive and lucky powers in an entity’s chart. Their conjunction in Cancer is uber-benefic, and testifies to the great riches of the U.S. But Pluto’s opposition to them over the last few years has sent these happy powers to the underworld to languish since his ingress in late 2008.

Pluto is in the process of slowly departing from his opposition to the US’ benefic conjunction, but it will years before these fecund points are free of affliction. The economy will recover slowly and fitfully, unlikely to regain anything resembling vibrant health for years. Don’t believe the next round of recovery hype.

i agree with him, as i said in 08 the economy was tanking anyway, no matter who won the election, and i think it will be awhile before this gets sorted. our pluto return is in about 2020, which looking back equates with the signing of the constitution and the resolution of the revolution and the factors that lead to it. at THIS point in THAT cycle, we were under a major squeeze from govt and corporations alike, just as we are now.

as he says, you MAY detect a pattern here...

the good news, to me, is that this is the time when it all becomes transparent. we had just as much polarization then, those that wanted to stay under the protection of the monarchy and those who couldn't stand it...but we found our strengths and discovered what really mattered and picked ourselves up to start again.

is recovery measured in the price of your house? or is it in finding the TRUE values in your life and nurturing them?

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posted July 08, 2011 04:15 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
as an afterthought i have to say that the 1920s return preceded a huge but SHORT boomtime. the crash of 29, by estimated reckoning, would have come at the square, indicating that the homework of the return was not properly done!

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posted July 21, 2011 09:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jwhop     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I always get a charge out of these articles announcing new jobs numbers..unemployment and new filings for unemployment compensation.

In almost every case, the numbers were "UNEXPECTED".

Unexpected by whom?

The drooling O'Bomber press have been attempting...and still are attempting to put a happy face on O'Bomber's fiscal and economic duncehood.

The economists they poll are better suited to a dishwashing job down at the local Hooters. Those their area of supposed expertise...are so consistently wrong are either lying through their teeth for political reasons OR, they're in a job position they can't handle.

The low jobs numbers and high filings for unemployment compensation are exactly what anyone should expect when we have O'Bomber and his merry little band of Socialist comrades making war on US business and the US economy.

Jobless claims rise above expectations
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, pointing to a labor market that is struggling to regain momentum.

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