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Jobs Data Highlights The Challenges For Washington

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As President Obama said himself, that was the message in Friday’s Labor Department report, which showed that the United States economy added 151,000 jobs in October.

The gain was certainly a welcome change after four months of job losses, and was better than what economists had expected. Still, it was not nearly strong enough to make a dent in unemployment. Nearly 15 million people are still out of work, and the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high at 9.6 percent.

The jobless rate has not fallen substantially this year, largely because employers have barely added enough workers to absorb the people just entering the labor force. And even if the economy suddenly expands and starts adding 208,000 jobs a month — as it did in its best year this decade — it would still take 12 years to close the gap between the growing number of American workers and the total available jobs, according to the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project.

The latest numbers underscore the challenges that lie ahead for Washington with a newly divided government and calls by Republican leadership to discredit Mr. Obama’s economic policies. Economists themselves cannot agree about what kinds of policy measures would rescue the job market. Even if a magic-bullet jobs program existed, however, it seems unlikely that a gridlocked Congress could cooperate long enough to put it in place.

Moreover, the policy measures that remain — in particular, the Federal Reserve’s decision this week to pump more money into the economy — seem to be upsetting the rest of world. One effect of the Fed’s actions is to drive the dollar lower against other currencies, making American products more competitive and perhaps laying the groundwork for asset bubbles elsewhere. The lead-up to the Group of 20 summit meeting in Seoul, South Korea, next week has been dominated by criticisms of the Fed’s announcement and battle cries over “currency wars,” prompting the Fed chairman to defend the action on Friday.

Still at least Bernanke realizes this structural and all it's going to take is a few trillion of free funny money to fix it all.

It's going to be a long hard decade of recovery....

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As he flew into Mumbai, India's financial hub, on the first leg of a 10-day Asian tour, he announced $10 billion in business deals which he said would generate 50,000 jobs in the US.

"The United States sees Asia, especially India, as the market of the future," Mr Obama told a meeting of key US and Indian business leaders who between them represented all the top tier of the country's companies. "There still exists a caricature of India as a land of call centres and back-offices that cost American jobs. But these old stereotypes, these old concerns, ignore today's realities."

Every little helps.....

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  • 415 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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