The main focus of Tuesday’s State of the Union address was the economy and income inequality. Along with his ideas about taxation and protecting homeowners, president Obama also expressed a desire to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. Since the 1980s, the U.S. economy has shifted away from manufacturing and towards intellectual property and services. This has been due in part to the perceived expenses involved in production based in the U.S., as well as labor laws.
The Labor Department's jobs report for July, released last Friday, showed overall unemployment stayed the same at 9.5 percent, but that the economy lost 5,600 temporary jobs. This ended nine months of gradual increases. Concerned economists say temporary jobs can be seen as a leading economic indicator of how businesses will proceed in the hiring of permanent workers.
Citigroup announced its earnings this morning, ending a three-quarter profit streak with a $7.6 billion loss during the final three months of 2009. This as consumers still struggled to repay loans and the bank managed to repay its government bailout money.
The Labor Department releases November unemployment data this morning. In October, the economy lost 240 thousand jobs and November may deliver some even bleaker numbers. Economist Peter Morici, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Business, looks at the numbers.