The Campaign Spot

The New King of the Political Scene: The National Unemployment Figure

The national unemployment rate hitting 9.4 percent last month seems to have been a turning point in economic perceptions. We saw Obama quickly come out and announce the stimulus would create another 600,000 jobs this summer, a sudden emphasis on pay-as-you-go budgeting, and polling indicates Americans are growing increasingly skeptical about the value of the stimulus.

Unemployment figures, I suspect, will not improve anytime soon:

U.S. employers’ hiring plans for the third quarter held at a record low, signaling fired workers will have to wait many more months to find a job, a survey showed.
Manpower Inc., the world’s second-largest provider of temporary workers, said its employment gauge for July through September was minus 2 after adjusting for seasonal variations, matching the second quarter’s reading as the lowest since data began in 1989.
Sixty-seven percent of employers surveyed said they anticipated no change in hiring next quarter, the same as the prior two periods, Manpower said.
The share expecting to boost payrolls held at 15 percent for a second time and those projecting more job cuts fell to 13 percent from 14 percent.

Of course, we still have more upheaval in the domestic auto industry working its way through our economy right now . . .

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