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Archive for Friday, March 2, 2012

Jobs picture brightens; economy awaits liftoff

March 2, 2012

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— After years of bad news begetting more bad news, the American economy may finally be building momentum in the other direction.

A flurry of economic reports issued Thursday captured some solid recent gains: Companies are hiring. Factories and department stores are busier. Americans are buying more cars.

And the stock market just ended its best February in 14 years.

But Thursday’s reports also showed that a healthier job market hasn’t translated into bigger paychecks for workers or a surge in consumer spending. And the progress of the past few months is now threatened by a rise in gasoline prices.

On one hand, analysts say the economy may be on the verge of a “virtuous cycle,” in which stronger hiring fuels more consumer spending, which leads to even more hiring and spending.

On the other hand, even months of improvement have yet to demonstrate that the cycle can sustain itself.

“When you get this sort of hodgepodge and not-so-good results, you start to see the true nature of this recovery,” said Sean Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness.

A healthier job market hasn’t produced bigger paychecks or a surge in consumer spending. The housing market is still weak. A European recession threatens to hold back U.S. growth.

Thursday’s reports showed an economy maintaining its growth 2 1/2 years after the official end of the Great Recession: The number of people applying for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to a four-year low. And automakers, such as Ford and Chrysler, and many retailers, including Target Corp. and Macy’s Inc., reported improved sales for February.

At the same time, the government said consumer spending flat-lined in January after adjusting for inflation. Manufacturing activity grew at a slower pace in February as factories received fewer orders and had to pay more for raw materials. And construction spending slipped in January, the first monthly drop since July.

Another worrisome sign is that gas prices are headed toward $4 a gallon.

All that comes even as a strong report this week on consumer confidence helped lift the Dow Jones industrial average past 13,000 for the first time since May 2008. Unemployment has dropped for five straight months. And the economy has generated nearly 2 million jobs over the past year.

Comments

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 1 month ago

The title of the article is: "Jobs picture brightens; economy awaits liftoff"

Remember the scene in 'The Wizard of Oz', where the Wizard lifts up and away without Dorothy and Toto?

Maybe the economic recovery will be like that. There will be a liftoff for some, but others will be left behind.

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deathpenaltyliberal 2 years, 1 month ago

vertigo (Jesse Crittenden) says…

Enters Sees neocon circle jerk Leaves

We have a winner!

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demonfury 2 years, 1 month ago

From a financial / economic stand point, this administration is an absolute tragedy to the history of this great country. Obama's track record on the economy should be the focal point for the Republican nominee. He can rip Obama to shreds on this issue and keep pumping it down the voters throats until they are sick of hearing it. Just like Obama did by telling voters not to vote for another 4 years of George Bush. The American people, collectively, are so stupid they actually did what he said, and GWB wasn't even running. This election should be a no brainer for the GOP candidate. Hammer Obama's fiscal irresponsibility down our throats and the rest will fall into line. When Obama took office gas was averaging $1.80 a gallon nationally, now it's $3.90 a gallon. Unemployment was at 4.5%, now it's unsure because so many people have dropped off the rolls due to benefits running out. The real unemployment # is likely 9+ % nationwide. How long can Obama blame all of this on Bush? He's had over three years to make a difference and the difference he's made is truly frightening. And with Obamacare, it's only gonna get worse if it's not repealed. Re-elect this clown and watch what happens to this country.

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mustrun80 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm sure Obama thinks this kind of stuff is crazy.

"The thirteenth rule: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. — P.126-129"

People who want their freedom are GREEDY!!!

"Many of the lower middle class are members of labor unions, churches, bowling clubs, fraternal, service, and nationality organizations. They are organizations and people that must be worked with as one would work with any other part of our populations — with respect, understanding, and sympathy. To reject them is to lose them by default. They will not shrivel and disappear. You can’t switch channels and get rid of them. This is what you have been doing in your radicalized dream world but they are here and will be. — P.189"

I like this quote from Saul Alinsky - It really sums up the disdain I have, as a proud liberal, for average Amercians. God they are stupid. I mean members of churches, serioulsy?

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its_just_math 2 years, 1 month ago

"CHAOS" does not even remotely describe this administration, BAA.

Worth re-posting....and probably will again......

"The Cloward–Piven strategy is a political strategy outlined in 1966 by American sociologists and political activists Richard Cloward (1926–2001) and Frances Fox Piven (b. 1932) that called for overloading the U.S. public welfare system in order to precipitate a crisis that would lead to a replacement of the welfare system with a national system of "a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty". Cloward and Piven were a married couple who were both professors at the Columbia University School of Social Work. The strategy was formulated in a May 1966 article in left-wing[1] magazine The Nation entitled "The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty".[2]

The two were critical of the public welfare system, and their strategy called for overloading that system to force a different set of policies to address poverty. They stated that many Americans who were eligible for welfare were not receiving benefits, and that a welfare enrollment drive would strain local budgets, precipitating a crisis at the state and local levels that would be a wake-up call for the federal government, particularly the Democratic Party, thus forcing it to implement a national solution to poverty. Cloward and Piven wrote that “the ultimate objective of this strategy [would be] to wipe out poverty by establishing a guaranteed annual income...”[2] There would also be side consequences of this strategy, according to Cloward and Piven. These would include: easing the plight of the poor in the short-term (through their participation in the welfare system); shoring up support for the national Democratic Party then-splintered by pluralist interests (through its cultivation of poor and minority constituencies by implementing a national solution to poverty); and relieving local governments of the financially and politically onerous burdens of public welfare (through a national solution to poverty)."

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beatrice 2 years, 1 month ago

Obviously, there is no making some people happy.

I hope they change.

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 1 month ago

Welfare is the growth industry in the current regime's brave new world.

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Roland Gunslinger 2 years, 1 month ago

Enters Sees neocon circle jerk Leaves

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mustrun80 2 years, 1 month ago

Also, You can all make a difference and help the Bush/Cheney induced smoke air we all breath if you buy Carbon Offsets.

This guy sells them at the Radio Shack in my neighborhood. For only $200 dollars a month he says I can offset most of my electricity use! They plant trees in Africa or something.

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mustrun80 2 years, 1 month ago

"And the progress of the past few months is now threatened by a rise in gasoline prices."

WHO CARES?!

We need gas to be at about $10 a gallon. This is the only way american idiots will choose the available alternatives of solar, non-coal electric, and algea to fill up their cars.

If they can't afford their mortgage because they have to drive 40 miles round trip a day to work, tough. Some of us are trying to save the world here folks. Quit thinking about your precious home or extravagant family vacation to Lake Perry.

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 1 month ago

This is great news. This is all The Obama's "New America" minions need to know. "Excellent press"

Keep the "food stamps", unemployment handouts, Obamacare and excellent press" "lifting off" and The Obama will be able to keep his OWS at bay.

Shout 4 more years of "liftoff"

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sunny 2 years, 1 month ago

I wonder how many people actually believe the economy has turned around.

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its_just_math 2 years, 1 month ago

"...economy awaits liftoff"

For only three years now. Joke.

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its_just_math 2 years, 1 month ago

As stated ad nauseum by me on this award-winning forum, we'll see these types of BS pieces ad nauseum until November. If the GOP (likely Romney) wins, watch what is reported starting January 21, 2013. It will be economic doom and gloom pushed hard and fast, 24/7 by the intellectually bankrupt liberal lamestream Obamamania media who just can not help themselves. I'm not even sure they're aware they do it----just comes natural to them---like peeing or pooping.

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 1 month ago

The percentage of workplace participation is at the lowest point since accurate records have been kept. How's that hopenchange working out for you?

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cato_the_elder 2 years, 1 month ago

This article is pure AP fluff. Unemployment is at 9%, real unemployment is at 15% and underemployment exceeds 20%, many people who are still unemployed have dropped off the application lists and our GDP growth is nowhere near what it needs to be to signal any kind of real recovery.

AP reporters should do their homework before embarrassing themselves with rah-rah drivel like this.

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