Saturday, February 6, 2010

Rising U.S. Job Worries Add to Upheaval

Job seekers line up to speak to a representative from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency at the Houston Diversity Job Fair in Humble, Texas, this week.

The Wall Street Journal - Concerns about the ability of the U.S. economy to create jobs added to a broader wave of fear about European finances, as fresh data showed unemployment claims rising and companies managing to boost production without adding workers.
The Labor Department reported initial claims for jobless benefits rose by a larger-than-expected 8,000, to 480,000 claims in the week ended Jan. 30. A separate report showed that companies managed to increase output for each hour worked at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.2% in the 2009 final quarter, down from the third quarter's 7.2%, but still well above average.
The data reinforced doubts that a strong rebound in jobs will give U.S. consumers the wherewithal they need to contribute to a sustainable economic recovery. The market will learn more early Friday when the U.S. unemployment number for January is reported.
The latest reports "confirm that the recovery in the labor market is likely to be quite slow," said Conrad DeQuadros, an economist at consultancy RDQ Economics. "That suggests consumer spending is not going to be the major driver of growth in 2010."

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