Two Papers in One!

Best of the Web November 7, 2006

“The labor market for American workers is continuing to improve, the latest government statistics showed yesterday, with job growth advancing in recent months and the unemployment rate falling last month to the lowest level since May 2001. In a report that eased concerns that economic growth might be faltering, the Labor Department reported yesterday that the jobless rate, seasonally adjusted, dropped in October to 4.4 percent, from 4.6 percent in September.”–news story, New York Times, Nov. 4

“The latest information about the economy leaves no question that it has slowed down by just about every measure–housing and manufacturing, retail sales and job growth, and others. Even the recent increase in compensation is generally believed to be a sign of coming layoffs, not a harbinger of wage inflation. When business dries up at firms and factories, employers don’t cut back immediately. So for a time, pay and benefits hang in there. As for the recent improvement in the unemployment rate, sorry to say, it’s an aberration. The job market won’t turn up in any meaningful way when the overall direction of the economy is down.”–editorial, New York Times, Nov. 4