Fresh Paint
Friday, July 02, 2004
Really Bad News
Yahoo! News - U.S. June Job Growth Stunted
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The pace of U.S. hiring slumped sharply in June after several months of robust [ed. so sez them] gains, the government reported on Friday, as employers added fewer than half the number of payroll jobs forecast and hours of work shrank.

The Labor Department (news - web sites) said only 112,000 jobs were created last month, far fewer than the 250,000 that Wall Street analysts had anticipated. April and May new-job totals were revised down, to 324,000 and 235,000 respectively, from 346,000 and 248.000. [ed. that's 24,000 for April and 13,000 for May worse than they thought]

The unemployment rate was unchanged, as expected, at 5.6 percent. [ed. the good news, I suppose, and I guarantee is going to be the headline at most news outlets.]

June still represented a 10th straight month of job growth that has added about 1.5 million workers to payrolls [ed. yeah, but they keep slipping off again, don't they?], but the unexpectedly steep slowdown last month may make it harder for President Bush (news - web sites) to campaign for re-election in November on a claim of accelerating economic momentum. [ed. here's that bad-girl snarkiness of mine popping up]

In a sign of broader weakness, the average workweek eased to 33.6 hours in June from 33.8 in May, the shortest since a matching level in December.

All of June's job growth in service industries. The manufacturing sector lost 11,000 jobs, a reversal after four straight months in which factories had added jobs following years of decline.
The timing, two days after the Federal Reserve (news - web sites) boosted short-term U.S. interest rates by a quarter percentage point and cited the need to check inflation in a quickening [ed. snarf] economy, was striking. Analysts said it meant, at a minimum, that the U.S. central bank likely would not face pressure to push rates up more quickly than in the quarter point moves now anticipated.
No, at a minimum, it means that there is more confusion and chaos in this administration than we even guessed at.

And now that you've taken a few weeks off: Welcome, all you new June grads, of both the high school and college flavor! I'm certain you'll find ample employment in the field of your choice, whether in burger construction, at the drive thru window, or perhaps in the lawn and landscape maintenance professions. Just don't ever, ever get sick.

Be back later with more.

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