[QODLink]
Archive
Poor July figures hit US job markets
Revelations that US firms hired just 32,000 extra workers in July have shocked markets worldwide and dashed hopes of a labour market rebound.
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2004 22:05 GMT
US job markets will find little to cheer in the latest report
Revelations that US firms hired just 32,000 extra workers in July have shocked markets worldwide and dashed hopes of a labour market rebound.

The latest government figures released on Friday belied earlier hopes of a job spurt, triggered by expectations of a gain of 243,000 net jobs.

Employment in June, too, was weaker than previously reported, the US Labour Department said, with net jobs up just 78,000 - far lower than the modest 112,000 initially estimated.

Stung by the figures, stunned investors sent the Dow Jones industrial average plummeting 147.70 points, or 1.48%, to finish at 9815.33 - the lowest close since November 2003.

Blow to Bush

The jobs news could be a blow to President George Bush's re-election hopes in November.

"Our economy has been through a lot," Bush said in a campaign speech in New Hampshire.

"I am running because I understand how to take a strong economy to make it stronger. I say we have a strong economy, and it's getting stronger," he said.

But his Democratic challenger John Kerry pounced on the report to accuse Bush of mismanagement.

"The president keeps saying we have turned the corner. But unfortunately today's job numbers further demonstrate that our economy may be taking a U-turn instead," Kerry said in a statement.

Stuck economy

Sluggish job growth also cast doubt over the Federal Reserve's determination to keep pushing up interest rates at a measured pace, with a quarter-point rise anticipated next week.

"It is very disappointing, it indicates that the economy is stuck in a soft patch for a much longer period than we anticipated," said Wells Fargo bank chief economist Sung Won Sohn.

One bright note that emerged from the labour market report was that the unemployment rate, measured by a separate Labour Department survey of households, dipped to 5.5% in July from 5.6% in June.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.