Thursday, July 2, 2009

U.S. Economy Autopsy Results.

Can I interrupt your 24/7 Michael Jackson Media Frenzy and Autopsy Derby for some real (bad) news?

From the New York Times:

The pace of job losses quickened in June after slowing just a month earlier, casting a shadow over the Obama administration’s attempts to stanch months of declines in the labor market.
The American economy shed 467,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate rose to 9.5 percent from 9.4 percent, the Labor Department reported on Thursday. Job losses were widespread among the construction, manufacturing, and business and professional services sectors.
The losses were sharply higher than economists’ expectations of 365,000 lost jobs.
Economists said a decline of 322,000 jobs in May had raised expectations that the market was bottoming out as the economy struggled to right itself, but the numbers on Friday dashed some of those hopes.
The figures also raised questions about whether the Obama administration, which has already passed a $787 billion stimulus plan, needed to step in again to shore up the American worker.
“The stimulus has probably stabilized income, but it has not moved the economy forward,” said John E. Silvia, chief economist at Wachovia Corporation. “It’s a finger in the dike. But in terms of getting the economy going, there’s no evidence of that yet.”
But some economists noted that a decline of 467,000 jobs in a single month still represented an improvement from earlier this year, when 741,000 jobs vanished in January alone. And they said that the stimulus plan was only beginning to take effect.
“We have to wait to see where things go,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s “If we didn’t have the stimulus, the economy would’ve contracted twice as fast in the second quarter and the job losses we’re suffering now would be very similar to the ones we were suffering at the beginning of the year,” Still, the latest figures, which were released a day early because of the Fourth of July holiday, highlight a somber new reality for workers, economists said.
As the recession enters its 20th month, wage growth is stagnating, working hours are dwindling and 14.7 million people are unemployed.

We now return to our regularly-scheduled program, One Week Later: The Thriller Is (Still) Gone.

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