Peter Morici is a professor at the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, and former Chief Economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission.
The economy added 171,000 jobs in October. That was up from 148,000 in September, but hardly enough to bring unemployment down to acceptable levels.
Hurricane Sandy should little affect these estimates as employer and household surveys were conducted earlier in September. Going forward, the hurricane will depress employment but only until the rebuilding begins in earnest.
It seems likely that Sandy will impose greater destruction of property, and add to that the loss of about two days commercial activity, spread over a week across 25 percent of the economy, an initial estimate of the economic losses imposed by Sandy is about $35 to 45 billion.
Friday, economists expect the Commerce Department to report the economy grew 1.9 percent in the third quarter, continuing a subpar recovery that began in July 2009.
The presidential debates have clearly established what Americans may expect from an Obama second term or a Romney Administration.
The unemployment rate decreased to 7.8 percent, because the number of self-employed jumped dramatically. With the economy growing so slowly many of these are likely workers laid off during the economic collapse who have established home-based businesses.
With their candidate fading in the polls as the debates approach, party operatives focus on tactical corrections, but fail to grasp that the basic GOP message—lower taxes, deregulation and free trade—is unappealing to voters scarred by the Great Recession and corporate abuses.
Governor Romney is right. The United States must get tough with China to restore growth and good paying jobs.
On Tuesday, the Commerce Department reported the deficit on international trade in goods and services was $42.0 billion in July, up slightly from $41.9 billion in June.