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Economic News

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Data Show US Unemployment Down In November.

ABC World News (12/20, story 2, 2:40, Stephanopoulos) reported that there was “good news today on the economy,” as employment is increasing. Cecilia Vega reported that “it hasn’t looked this good in a really long time,” but in November almost “every state in the country saw unemployment drop,” and the US continues to see about 100,000 new jobs each month since July, which “hasn’t happened since before” the recession began. North Dakota is leading the US with an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent, well “below the national average of 8.6 percent,” due to “an oil boom.” According to Brookings Institute economist Howard Wial, “I think we’re going to see continued job growth and reductions in unemployment in the country as a whole.”

Home Construction Data Signals Housing Turnaround.

The AP (12/21, Kravitz) reports that “builders in November broke ground on homes – houses and apartments alike – at an annual rate of 685,000” according to the US Department of Commerce. This represents “a 9.3 percent jump from October” and is “the fastest pace since April 2010.” The AP characterizes this as a “gradual comeback” for home constructions that “should add to the nation’s economic growth in 2011.”

The Washington Post (12/21, Irwin) reports that it seems as if “the deeply depressed housing sector finally seems to have found its bottom – and may even be starting to bounce back.” The Post also notes that “the number of building permits issued for new houses and apartments also rose, to 5.7 percent in November.” Brian Bethune of Alpha Macroeconomic Foresights is quoted saying, “The good news is that housing has switched from being a drag on overall growth, to modest positive contributions.”

ME Daily Executive Briefing 12.21.2011

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