Economy Stuck In Low Gear?

“Dismal US hiring shows economy stuck in low gear,” by Reuters’ Jason Lange : “Job creation was too weak to bring down the country’s 8.2 percent jobless rate and the report fueled concerns that Europe’s debt crisis was shifting the U.S. economy into low gear. … Last month, the Fed extended a program aimed at keeping long-term interest rates down and said it was prepared to do more to spur the economic recovery if needed. The somber jobs report could move the central bank closer to a third round of so-called quantitative easing, or QE3. … Economists estimate roughly 125,000 jobs are needed each month just to hold the jobless rate steady. During the second quarter, job creation averaged 75,000 per month, down from an average of 226,000 in the first quarter. “Part of the slowdown could be because mild weather led companies to boost hiring during the winter at spring’s expense. But weakness in everything from factory activity to retail sales suggests something more fundamental is at play … In June, factories added 11,000 workers and construction employment edged up 2,000, the first gain since January and further evidence the long-depressed housing market is steadying. However, hiring slowed sharply in the services industry, with retailers cutting 5,400 workers. Overall, private-sector hiring was the weakest since August . … Until recently, the United States had been a relatively bright spot in the global economy, especially in manufacturing, and most economists still expect lackluster growth over the rest of 2012 rather than a slip toward recession.” –HOW IT PLAYED : N.Y. Times 1-col. lead, “WEAKNESS IN JOBS STARTS TO SHAPE A CAMPAIGN TONE: ECONOMY IN STALL MODE – Jobless Rate Unchanged – Experts Scaling Back Forecasts” … WSJ 4-col. lead, “Weak Labor Report Fans Fears: June’s Increase of Just 80,000 Jobs Reflects Recovery’s Fragility and Steps Up Pressure on Fed to Act” … WashPost 1-col. lead, “Labor market stuck in neutral: 80,000 JOBS ADDED IN JUNE – Slowdown could pose problem for Obama” [Y’think?] … Financial Times splash, “Job figures setback for Obama: Just 80,000 added in June — Outlook for recovery dims — Eurozone crisis damping US economy” … L.A. Times 2-col. lead, “Job creation slows amid uncertainty: U.S. firms hesitate to hire as economic worries continue at home and abroad” … Chicago Tribune p. 1, “Anxiety cools desire to hire: Suspect economy stunts job growth.”

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