Friday, December 3, 2010
Stay current with what’s happening in the business world…
Jobless Rate Rises
The U.S. economy added fewer jobs than expected in November and the unemployment rate rose to its highest level since April, the Labor Department reported this past Friday. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 39,000 last month as private-sector employers added only 50,000 jobs. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast payrolls would rise by 144,000 and that the jobless rate would remain unchanged at 9.6%. The unemployment rate, which is obtained from a separate household survey, unexpectedly rose to 9.8% last month.
Holiday Retail Sales Up
Despite the stubborn unemployment rate, retailers' reports of robust November sales offered more evidence that the lackluster U.S. economy may finally be gaining momentum. November comparable sales grew 5.8% versus November 2009, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Growth was expected to be around 2-3%.
Future of Bush-Era Tax Cuts Unclear
The Obama administration is holding out for an extension of unemployment assistance and of a variety of expiring tax breaks for low-wage and middle-income workers as part of a deal with Congressional Republicans, most of whom wish to extend the Bush-era tax cuts across income levels. Republicans and Demoncrats disagree on how the tax cuts will impact the economy and affect small businesses. It is possible that the parties will be unable to reach a compromise, in which case tax rates will revert at the end of this year to their pre-2001 levels, meaning an across the board tax increase.
Source: New York Times