Archive for the ‘Labor Department’ Category

Bush sees serious signs U.S. economy is weakening

February 1, 2008

By Tabassum Zakaria
Reuters
Friday, February 1, 2008

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) – President George W. Bush on Friday said there were troubling signs of economic weakening and urged Congress to move on a stimulus package to help prop up the economy, which has been hit by a housing slump and credit crisis.

U.S. President George W. Bush talks about the economy after ...
U.S. President George W. Bush talks about the economy after touring Hallmark Card headquarters and visitors’ center in Kansas City February 1, 2008.
REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES)

Bush’s comments mirrored his efforts in his State of the Union address on Monday to calm Americans’ recession fears and came on the heels of a government report earlier on Friday showing U.S. employers cut payrolls for the first time in 4-1/2 years in January.

“There are certainly some troubling signs, serious signs that the economy is weakening and we’ve got to do something about it,” Bush told employees at Hallmark Cards Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/01/AR2008020101618.html?wpisrc=rss_politics/administration

U.S. Economy: Dark News

January 5, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
January 5, 2008

Dark news of trouble for the U.S. economy continued to pile up at the start of 2008.

The dollar fell Friday as a disappointing US payrolls survey ...
The dollar fell Friday as a disappointing US payrolls survey highlighted soft economic conditions that boosts the risk of recession and further rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.(AFP/File/Bertrand Langlois)

On Friday, January 4, 2008, a Labor Department report said the U.S. economy edged a step closer to recession in December by producing only 18,000 new jobs, its worst performance in four years, and sending the unemployment rate to a two-year high of 5 percent.

Outside government, private sector jobs actually shrank by 13,000 in December.

According to the Labor Department, lay-offs were across the spectrum of American jobs.

Manufacturers, builders, banks and even retailers laid off more than 100,000 workers at the height of the Christmas shopping season.

The construction trades shed 49,000 jobs and manufacturing lost 31,000 workers.

The housing crisis has put hundreds of thousands of people involved in the construction trades out of work. The trickle down impact is hitting furniture manufacturers and all kinds of other businesses from appliance manufacturers to curtain and carpet makers.

Gas and home heating oil price increases seem likely following reports that petroleum has now hit $100.00 per barrel. Gasoline prices impact all drivers and have already contributed to price hikes on everything from milk and eggs to FedEx deliveries.

Tightening credit, a slumping housing market, oil prices and a staggering stock market are starting to take a toll on the American housewife and wage earner.

Peter Gosselin and Walter Hamilton wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “The [job] losses were widespread, suggesting that the economy’s troubles run deep. They were compensated for by gains in only a few areas, especially health care, food service and government.”

“Economists viewed the report as the most powerful indication to date that the United States could well be falling into a recessionary downturn,” wrote Peter Goodman and Mike Grynbaum in the New York Times.

“This report raises threats” because of the way it undercuts consumers, said Stephen Gallagher, economist at Societe Generale. “Up to this report, employment gains have been seen as sufficient to support the consumer” and keep the economy afloat.

President Bush has been upbeat on the economy but he met yesterday with a host of economic advisors to hear options on how the U.S. government can jump start the economy.

“This economy of ours is on a solid foundation, but we can’t take economic growth for granted,” he said after meeting with a White House working group on financial markets.

Related:

The Economy is Slowing, Losing Altitude

U.S. Economy: Storm Warning

Making Cents of Our Economy

Advancing economy defies ominous road signs

November 3, 2007

By Patrice Hill
The Washington Times
November 3, 2007

The economy kept powering ahead last month despite record high oil prices and worries about the solvency of banks on Wall Street, generating an unexpectedly strong 166,000 jobs in services from retirement homes to restaurants.

Unemployment held steady at the historically low rate of 4.7 percent despite layoffs at mortgage firms, home builders, manufacturers and retailers, the Labor Department said in a report yesterday. Wage gains moderated to 3.8 percent in the last year, possibly reflecting a move to a mix of lower-paying jobs as the housing crisis destroys many premium positions in real estate and finance.

“The labor market shrugged off the weakness in housing and finance,” said Harm Bandholz, economist at Unicredit Markets.

But the apparent strength masked a slowing trend that has been in place all year, he added. Weakness in the summer held the average monthly job gain since June to 88,000, down from 114,000 in the first half of the year and 168,000 last year.

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http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071103/BUSINESS/111030023/1001