US Economy To Shrink Again In Q1: Economy Lost 2.84 Million Jobs in Jan., Obamacare In Action – Retail Workweek Hits 3-Year Low, Rising Gasoline Costs, Higher Taxes, And Defense Spending Cuts Could Kill 1 Million Jobs

Furchtgott-Roth to Moneynews: Economy Might Shrink Again in First Quarter

The January job numbers reported Friday are weak, and gross domestic product (GDP) growth stands a good chance of remaining negative in the first quarter, says Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Diana Furchtgott-Roth.

Non-farm payrolls gained 157,000 last month, a bit lower than expectations, and the unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent in December.

Meanwhile, the economy contracted 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter.

“Employment is not strong. We might have negative GDP numbers the first quarter too,” Furchtgott-Roth tells Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview.

“We might have a negative GDP in the first quarter because of rising taxes and the increased effects of the new healthcare law.”

The Obamacare problem is that it penalizes employment, because employers who don’t offer the right kind of health insurance will have to pay $2,000 per worker per year, Furchtgott-Roth says.




Obamacare in Action: Retail Workweek Hits 3-Year Low

Hooray! The economy is adding jobs(supposedly). However, few look at the quality of the jobs, and whether or not they are part-time.

Jed Graham has a nice post on Investor’s Business Daily that describes what I have been saying for months: Obamacare has accelerated the trend towards part-time jobs. There are more jobs, but fewer hours in them.

Please consider Retail Workweek Hits 3-Year Low In ObamaCare Shift by Jed Graham.

 The fly in the ointment of January’s jobs report was the apparent shift to part-time work ahead of a key ObamaCare deadline.

Although retail payrolls grew by 32,600, total hours worked in the industry dipped, Labor Department data out Friday showed.

The explanation? Rank-and-file retail workers logged the shortest workweek since early 2010: just 30.1 hours, on average, vs. 30.4 in December.

Remarkably, aggregate hours worked in the retail sector fell below their January 2012 level, even though industry payrolls are up 200,000 over that period. A similar trend showed up in leisure and hospitality: January payrolls rose by 23,000 even as aggregate hours dipped 0.3%.


Economy Lost 2.84 Million Jobs in Jan., Yet Press Pretends Seasonally Adjusted 157K Jobs Added Represents What Actually Happened

Following the governmemt’s Employment Situation Summary yesterday, two words were noticeably absent at the Associated Press (herehere, and here), BloombergReutersCNBC, and the New York Times: “seasonally adjusted.”

While they told their readers of the number of jobs supposedly added in total (157,000) and in other sectors, the fact remains that in the real world, before seasonal adjustment, the government told us, as is the case every January, that employment declined steeply. In January 2013, the government estimates that 2.84 million jobs were lost.

This failure to refer to seasonal adjustments is odd, because while these same outlets typically use these two words when describing the weekly unemployment claims results released each Thursday and several other government reports which appear throughout the month, they typically fail to do so in describing the monthly number of jobs added or lost — and for that matter, the unemployment rate, which was really 8.5 percent in January, only 0.3 points below where is was in January 2012 (December’s, November’s, and October’s differentials were 0.7, 0.8 and 1.0 points, respectively).

Unemployment Rate Rises to 7.9% as US Adds Fewer Than Expected Jobs

Article Continues Below
Employment grew modestly in January and gains in the prior two months were bigger than initially reported, supporting views the economy’s sluggish recovery was on track despite a surprise contraction in output in the final three months of 2012.Employers added 157,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, the Labor Department said on Friday. There were 127,000 more jobs created in November and December than previously reported.The mostly encouraging jobs report included one negative sign: The unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent in December. The rate is calculated from a survey of households, and more people in that survey said they were unemployed. The monthly job gains are derived from a separate survey of employers.

2013 Taxes Are In Effect! If You Are Making Between $50,000 And $200,000 A Year, You Will See Your Biweekly Check Cut By $68 Or More

from Bloomberg:

The budget deal passed by the U.S. Senate today would raise taxes on 77.1 percent of U.S. households, mostly because of the expiration of a payroll tax cut, according to preliminary estimates from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center in Washington.

More than 80 percent of households with incomes between $50,000 and $200,000 would pay higher taxes. Among the households facing higher taxes, the average increase would be $1,635, the policy center said. A 2 percent payroll tax cut, enacted during the economic slowdown, is being allowed to expire as of yesterday.

The heaviest new burdens in 2013, compared with 2012, would fall on top earners, who would face higher rates on income, capital gains, dividends and estates. The top 1 percent of taxpayers, or those with incomes over $506,210, would pay an average of $73,633 more in taxes.

Much of that burden is concentrated at the very top of the income scale.

The top 0.1 percent of taxpayers, those with incomes over about $2.7 million, would pay an average of $443,910 more, reducing their after-tax incomes by 8.4 percent. They would pay 26 percent of the additional taxes imposed by the legislation.

Among households with incomes between $500,000 and $1 million, taxes would go up by an average of $14,812.

Gas Went UP 10 Cents Over Night

Check our prices in your area

This keeps up we will hit 4.00

USA Today: Defense Spending Cuts Could Kill 1 Million Jobs

Steep defense cuts in store for America may eliminate 1 million jobs directly and then have ripple effects across the nation’s cities and towns, according to USA Today.

As Washington debates sequestration — automatic budgets cuts that could slash $600 billion in military spending — the defense industry and towns that depend on defense contracts fear sequestration is only the tip of the iceberg.

That’s because earlier debt-ceiling agreements provided that military spending, which peaked at $716.3 billion in 2012, must fall to $589 billion by 2014.

Health insurance rates going up by double digits: NYT « Hot Air

Remember that Nancy Pelosi told us that we needed to pass ObamaCare to find out what’s in it.  Barack Obama promised to “bend the cost curve,” too.  Looks like both of them were right, at least according to the Paper of Record, which discovers to its surprise that dumping nebulous mandates on insurers causes them to bend the cost curve sharply upward (via Instapundit):

Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers.

Particularly vulnerable to the high rates are small businesses and people who do not have employer-provided insurance and must buy it on their own.

In California, Aetna is proposing rate increases of as much as 22 percent, Anthem Blue Cross 26 percent and Blue Shield of California 20 percent for some of those policy holders, according to the insurers’ filings with the state for 2013. These rate requests are all the more striking after a 39 percent rise sought by Anthem Blue Cross in 2010 helped give impetus to the law, known as the Affordable Care Act, which was passed the same year and will not be fully in effect until 2014.

In other states, like Florida and Ohio, insurers have been able to raise rates by at least 20 percent for some policy holders. The rate increases can amount to several hundred dollars a month.


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