AS THE PRESIDENT TAKES A VACATION – AT 8:51 A.M. ET: A new jobs report is not encouraging. From Bloomberg:
More Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, signaling the labor market is struggling two years into the economic recovery.
Jobless claims climbed by 9,000 to 408,000 in the week ended Aug. 13, the highest in a month, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a rise in claims to 400,000, according to the median forecast. The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls rose, while those receiving extended payments fell.
Companies like Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (BK) are paring staff, one reason consumers are limiting their spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy. Unemployment at 9.1 percent helps explain why Federal Reserve policy makers last week pledged to hold interest rates at a record low until at least mid-2013 to spur growth.
COMMENT: And it appears the attempt at a stock market rally has also fizzled, after a bad day on the European markets. We are in the soup. The president doesn't know how to get us out of the soup, and prefers hamburgers anyway.
The last two weeks of August are, traditionally, the slowest news period of the year, but not this year, in part because of the economy. Watch, though, as the political season roars to life after Labor Day. Major combat ahead.
August 18, 2011