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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Dow Cracks 14,000 After Strong Economic News

The U.S. economy added 157,000 jobs in January, according to the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report, one of several pieces of good economic news that led to a a stock market rally on Friday.

Although the unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent (from 7.8 percent last month,) the jobs report was full of mostly positive indicators. In addition to the solid gains in January, the Labor Department updated its estimates for December, from 196,000 to 155,000, and November, from 161,000 to 247,000.

Those estimates mean that 2,170,000 jobs were created in 2012; as Steve Benen points out at Maddow Blog, that represents the best annual total since 2005, and beats seven out of the eight years of the Bush administration.

Benen also provides this useful chart, illustrating monthly job totals since the Great Recession began in January, 2008:

“While more work remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression,” Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors Alan Krueger wrote in a blog post on the White House website.

The solid jobs report was just one of several positive economic indicators to come out on Friday. Auto sales rose 14 percent from January of last year, with major companies such as General Motors and Toyota beating expectations. The construction industry also had a strong month, adding 28,000 jobs in January and nearly 100,000 jobs over the past four months, suggesting that a housing recovery may finally be taking hold.

Wall Street reacted very positively to the news; the Dow Jones industrial average surged on Friday, and even crossed the 14,000 point barrier for the first time since the financial collapse. The Dow now sits within reach of its all-time record of 14,163.53.

Republicans chose to latch on to the slight rise in unemployment, and hit President Obama for disbanding his jobs council.

“This is the wrong time for President Obama to scrap his jobs council and delay his budget,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement. “Month after month we see the same thing: high unemployment and even more debt. More than 12 million Americans are still unemployed, and it’s been that way for far too long. If government spending were what causes economic growth, as the president believes, then the economy today should be booming, and the unemployment rate in America should be plummeting.”

While Boehner may score some points by attacking the Obama administration’s politically ill-timed announcement regarding the jobs council, at the end of the day he and colleagues remain the greatest threat to the economy. Possible sequestration cuts, scheduled to take effect on March 1st, and a potential government shutdown could derail many of the gains the economy has made.

As Krueger writes on the White House blog, “Today’s report is a reminder of the importance of the need for Congress to act to avoid self-inflicted wounds to the economy.”

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8 responses to “Dow Cracks 14,000 After Strong Economic News”

  1. Just another brick in the wall of the solid foundation that Obama has been building on top of the ruins he was left by G.W. Bush.

    Even the most dogmatic, staunch Republican is going to have to admit that things are headed in the right direction here; or are they just going to stick their fingers in their ears and pretend it will all go away and that Mitt actually WON the last election and this is all a bad dream about a Socialist plot to take all their guns and kittens away and give them to the Chinese?

  2. nobsartist says:

    Now that the President has done such a great job with the financial industry, perhaps he can find time to help the “little people” that elected him.

    We little people know it takes time to get to us so after 5 years, perhaps the wonder boy can start working for the rest of us.

    Afterall he has had time to-
    1. bail out the “for profit health insurance cabal”.
    2. bail out the banks
    3. bail out the auto industry unions
    4. bail out the large corporations with “no tax on profits” deals
    5. bail out the mortgage corporations
    6. bail out the defense contractor industry
    7. bail out the .com idiots and their failed “high tech” projects like solyndra, fisker, tesla and space x.
    8. bail out ventures run by foreigners like tesla, space x and fisker
    9. increase the number of foreigners with H1B visa’s to take Americans jobs
    10. Bail out the credit card companies by letting them become “banks”
    11. And finally, help EVERYONE but Americans

    President Obama is looking more like the bush crime family’s long lost black son.

    • charleo1 says:

      It seems to me like you’re just trying to be negative. Plus, you seem to think the President
      can just order up whatever he wants. The banks bailout happened before he took office.
      And, there are about 200,000 people working today, because he didn’t stand by, and
      watch what was left of our manufacturing base go down the drain. I also don’t believe
      you realize just how far in the toilet this Country is when it comes to challenging these
      corporations. What politicians they don’t fully own, they are either making payments
      to, or have his replacement primed, and ready go aganist him next primary. He also
      managed to increase taxes on the wealthy, and gave 98% of the workers a permanent
      tax break. And when healthcare reform is fully implemented 30 million more Americans
      will have insurance. And America will finally join the rest of the industrialized countries,
      with a National health program. Something Presidents had been trying to do, and failing
      since Truman.

      • nobsartist says:

        Funny, bush can invade countries, trample the Constitution, trample the Geneva Convention and clueless followers like yourself all cry, “the President cant do anything because of all of those bad republiCONs”.

        The “President” is just a continuation of bush.

        • charleo1 says:

          Well, when President Obama lies to get the Country into a totally
          unnecessary war, we can start the comparisons from there. But, I
          don’t disagree the damned insurance cartels should be outlawed
          as they are in the Netherlands. But I think it is really arrogant to
          say, well Obama decided to leave out a public option, so he’s just
          like Bush. Now, who’s being radical? I’ll tell you, given the margins
          on passing a for profit reform, that took away some of the most onerous
          practices of insurance cos. was just about all that was possible for
          an America mostly run by the corporate lobby, here in the 21st century.
          As proof, look at the political landscape after the mid-terms. We’re
          still paying for a lot of Liberals that decided they were going to sit
          home in protest. I’ll give you something else to consider. If one looks
          at the Social Security program at it’s inception, it was half-assed.
          And yet, once introduced, and the Communism people were told it
          would surely bring, didn’t happen. It became the most effective anti-
          poverty program ever devised. Of course Republicans took their case
          then, all the way to the Supreme Court. Of course Republicans said
          Medicare would again be the death of freedom. The most successful,
          and quality of life improvements for the average American have been
          fought tooth, and nail by Republicans. The GI Bill, Food Stamps,
          Child Care, Head Start, section 8, housing subsidies, Pell Grants,
          and government backed student loans. If I was King for a day, I would
          make Bernie Sanders President, And donations to political parties
          aganist the law. And take the remainder of the day off. But, that’s not
          how it is. People, regular everyday people raising families , making an
          honest living, have to fight for every break. Then, fight some more to
          hang onto it. Sometimes we fight our own Party. Need to. But Obama,
          like Bush?

        • charleo1 says:

          Actually i just explained how Obama differs in very fundamental ways
          from Bush. Basically, Bush was able to gain Democratic, and popular
          support for the Iraqi invasion, by being willing to tell a lie big enough,
          and often enough, people found the possibility that Bush was deliberately
          being deceptive, incredulous. See, Americans have always had a great deal
          of trust in our Presidents. Especially in a time of war, or possible attack.
          As was the case. He was claiming to be in possession of information so
          guarded, even members of Congress did not have the security clearances
          to actually see it. His Secretary of State, former head of the Joint Chiefs of
          Staff, was not allowed beforehand to verify the information he relayed to
          the UN, and the Country, as he laid bare the President’s case for taking the
          Country to war. What kind of liar does it take to stand in front of the people
          who trusted you enough to make you their President, and say you had proof of the reason you must send their Sons, and Daughters to war?
          Knowing full well, you had no such proof. But an agenda so deviant, and
          mercenary, you knew full well the moral standards of the Nation you
          claim to lead, would not permit such an action? I think you need to take
          another look at these two very different men. Their core values. Their
          principals, and their hearts. Does the drone program have some very
          large legal problems? Absolutely. Do we know the reason President Obama
          decided to expand it? No. Will history provide an answer? It always does.
          President Obama signed the extension of the Patriot Act. Many are disappointed in that. But, this fighting terrorism is a tricky business politically. Say he didn’t sign it, and we suffered another attack. What do
          we suppose the opposition would say about it? You know exactly what they
          would say. They would say, you can’t trust a Democrat to keep you safe.
          Especially one that goes around apologizing, and appeasing. Right?
          He could stand and present all the reasons it violates the Constitution.
          All the reasons that legally it couldn’t be defended. And be right, and be
          skewered by the first Right Winger that said the President tied the hands
          of our defenses, and allowed more Americans to die on his watch.

  3. TheOldNorthChurch says:

    The annual average employment base in 2007 was 146,047 million Americans working in comparison the average for the last twelve months was 142,608 million Americans working. The workforce shrank from 144,039 in October to 142,608 today. This is the second largest decline in this number for the past ten years surpassed only in 2009. This is a very bad trend. Factoring in the enormous tax increases just experienced by the American Middle Class in January let’s hope this trend does not continue. The next three months will are critical. It does not look promising.

    With population growth factored in, the US economy needed to reach 154,000 million workers to equal the high point of 2006. This means we needed to have added 11,392 million more jobs to be in full recovery. I do not believe it is going to happen with the policies in place. The Federal Government can not solve this, it needs to get out of the way.

    There are simple solutions to our country’s financial problems. They are just not easy solutions.

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