US job­less rate rise as com­pa­nies curbed hir­ing

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

NEW YORK

Un­em­ploy­ment prob­a­bly rose from a three-year in low in Oc­to­ber as U.S. em­ploy­ers curbed hir­ing on con­cern growth will suf­fer if law­mak­ers fail to avert tax in­creases and spend­ing cuts slated to take ef­fect next year, economists said be­fore a re­port to­day. "We're adding enough jobs to tread wa­ter but not to make much progress in bring­ing down the slack that re­mains," said Richard Moody, chief econ­o­mist at Re­gions Fi­nan­cial Corp. in Birm­ing­ham, Alabama. "The la­bor mar­ket is con­sis­tent with the mid­dling growth we've seen in the over­all econ­omy."

Em­ploy­ers have lit­tle rea­son to boost staff as global de­mand slows and the so-called fis­cal cliff of tax in­creases and spend­ing cuts raise the risk the ex­pan­sion will sput­ter next year. The re­port comes be­fore Amer­i­cans go to the polls on Nov. 6 to de­cide whether to give Pres­i­dent Barack Obama an­other four years or change course with Repub­li­can chal­lenger Mitt Rom­ney.

The La­bor Depart­ment's fig­ures will be is­sued at 8:30 a.m. in Wash­ing­ton. Pay­roll pro­jec­tions in the Bloomberg sur­vey ranged from gains of 30,000 to 154,000. An av­er­age of 146,000 jobs a month were added in the third quar­ter.

Fore­casts for the un­em­ploy­ment rate ranged from 7.7 per­cent to 8 per­cent. The un­em­ploy­ment rate in Septem­ber matched the level when Obama took of­fice in Jan­uary 2009. It ex­ceeded 8 per­cent for 43 months prior to Septem­ber, the long­est such stretch since monthly records be­gan in 1948.

The most re­cent polls sug­gest the race for the pres­i­dency is in a dead heat. The Wash­ing­ton Post/ABC News na­tional track­ing poll re­leased Oct. 31 showed Rom­ney and Obama tied at 49 per­cent among likely vot­ers. An ag­gre­ga­tion of na­tional polls com­piled by the web­site RealClearPol­i­tics also showed a tied race, with each can­di­date at 47.4 per­cent.

Ron­ald Rea­gan is the only pres­i­dent to have been re-elected since World War II with a job­less rate above 6 per­cent. The rate was 7.2 per­cent on Elec­tion Day 1984, hav­ing dropped al­most 3 per­cent­age points in the pre­vi­ous 18 months. As­sum­ing the rate is 7.9 per­cent in Oc­to­ber this year, the rate would have dropped 1.1 points in the same pe­riod un­der Obama.

While torn about who will be pres­i­dent, Amer­i­cans have grown more op­ti­mistic about the US econ­omy, an in­di­ca­tion the la­bor mar­ket may be im­prov­ing for some.

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