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The US Department of Labor this morning reports that the unemployment rate for January 2010 dropped to 9.7 percent, down from 10 percent in December. At the same time, the data shows that the US economy shed 20,000 jobs during the month, which the New York Times says deepens concern that relief from the deepest economic downturn in a generation would be slow to come,”

The Times continues, “As the broader economy gains steam and crucial sectors like manufacturing spring back to life, analysts say the recovery appears to be intact. But the nation’s stubbornly high unemployment rate remains a persistent thorn in the side of optimists, and economists expect the situation to worsen before it gets better.

“Some forecasts call for the jobless rate to reach nearly 11 percent by year’s end, which would significantly dampen spending by consumers, a critical driver of growth. That has prompted concern that the economy could enter a period of extremely slow growth or even fall into another downturn.”

The Labor Department also said this morning that it was revising its November and December jobs numbers - saying that in November the economy gained 64,000 jobs rather than the previously estimated 4,000. And the government said that in December, the economy lost 150,000 jobs, not the 85,000 previously estimated.
KC's View:
This stuff makes my hair hurt. You would think that an decrease in the unemployment rate would be a good thing, but economists don’t seem so sure. And the experts are predicting that the stock market probably won’t do well off these numbers.

Beats me. Probably a good thing that I do what I do, instead of what economists do.