Rounding Up the Economic News

By January 4, 2008Economy

Dan Froomkin at the Washington Post starts his White House news roundup by previewing President Bush’s planned speech on the economy Monday, which is expected to prescribe tax incentives to stimulate the economy. (Targeted tax incentives? How about a renewed R&D tax credit and making the Bush tax cuts permanent?)

Today’s news about the rising unemployment rate — up to 5 percent — will certainly play into Bush’s announcement. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports:

The unemployment rate rose to 5.0 percent in December, while nonfarm payroll employment was essentially unchanged (+18,000), the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Job growth in several service-providing industries, including professional and technical services, health care, and food services, was largely offset by job losses in construction and manufacturing. Average hourly earnings rose by 7 cents, or 0.4 percent.

Labor Secretary Chao’s statement is here.

UPDATE (1 p.m.) The White House notes the 52nd straight month of job growth, a record.

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