The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

The number of Americans applying for unemployment rose slightly this week, but the four-week average — a more accurate indicator of the job market — is now at 335,000 a week. The four-week average has not been this low since November of 2007, before the worst of the financial crisis began.

fredgraph4weekaverage

Unemployment claims increased by 5,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 333,000. That’s far below 400,000, the number that generally suggests the economy is shedding jobs.

Though the 162,000 jobs the Labor Department estimated were created in July were the lowest in several months, the economy has added jobs at its fastest pace since 1999, as the president continually points out in his speeches touting “A Better Bargain.” An average of 1.5 million jobs lost per month is lower than the 1.77 million per month lost in 2006, before the economy was in recession.

Layoffs are down 10 percent since the beginning of the year despite the tax increases that kicked in on January 1st and the sequestration that began on March 1st. The mandatory cuts in the sequestration are expected to lead to a loss of 1.6 million jobs by the end of 2014.

The economy’s slow but steady recovery will face its most serious challenge late this year. Republicans are not only threatening a government shutdown if the president does not meet their demands, which include defunding Obamacare, but also seem to be edging toward a repeat of the debt limit crisis of 2011, which led to a sharp decline in consumer confidence that shook the stock markets, likely resulting in slower job growth.

Even if Republicans decide not to play chicken with the economy, the fact that corporate profits have never been higher and wages as a share of gross domestic product have never been lower suggests there are major problems with government policy that need to be addressed.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Rep. Devin Nunes

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California is retiring from Congress at the end of 2021 to work for former President Donald Trump.

Keep reading... Show less

From left Ethan Crumbley and his parents Jennifer and James Crumbley

Mug shot photos from Oakland County via Dallas Express

After the 2012 massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, then-Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican, evaded calls for banning weapons of war. But he had other ideas. The "more realistic discussion," Rogers said, is "how do we target people with mental illness who use firearms?"

Tightening the gun laws would seem a lot easier and less intrusive than psychoanalyzing everyone with access to a weapon. But to address Rogers' point following the recent mass murder at a suburban Detroit high school, the question might be, "How do we with target the adults who hand powerful firearms to children with mental illness?"

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}