Factory orders rose 2.4 percent in July on the biggest jump in demand for autos in more than eight years and a surge in commercial airplane orders. The increase suggests supply chain disruptions created by the Japan tsunami crisis are easing.
Government agencies and private employers said this month that they plan to lay off 51,114 workers, the outplacement consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported this morning. Meanwhile, ADP says private payrolls rose by 91,000.
The idea that money spent on fixing the billions in damages will be good for the overall economy is known as the "broken window fallacy," Planet Money's Adam Davidson says. In reality, spending is just shifted around.
As jobs are among Americans' most pressing concerns now, President Obama announced Monday that he has picked Princeton labor economist Alan Kreuger to be the Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. To explore what Kreuger can do for the economy, Michel Martin speaks with Susan Collins, Professor of Economics and Dean of Michigan's Ford School.
It's still early to make exact pronouncements about how much damage Irene caused, and President Obama said the cleanup in many areas will be tough. But overall, the storm appears to have caused much less damage than forecasters said was possible.
The housing crisis has left banks stuck with crumbling, foreclosed houses that they can't re-sell. In Cleveland, a quasi-government corporation takes over those houses and the lenders pay to demolish them. The idea may soon take hold in other cities as well.
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