Hiring in the U.S. slowed more than forecast in December and unemployment jumped to a two-year high, raising the odds that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates by half a point this month to ward off a recession.
Payrolls rose by 18,000, capping the worst year for job creation since 2003, the Labor Department said today in Washington. The jobless rate increased to 5 percent from 4.7 percent in November, while the Institute for Supply Management said growth in U.S. service industries cooled last month.
Short version: this number stinks all the way around; there is no upside. For people that have been arguing for a recession it adds a ton of fuel to the fire.
The Saturday morning stock shows should be very entertaining. Those free market/Milton Friedman zealots will be screaming that it's all Bernanke's fault. If there is a hell, they should rot there. Naomi Klein discusses these whackos quite vividly in her wonderful book.