July 04, 2014

In his interview with Kai Ryssdal, President Obama said that the economy could see $1.4 trillion in additional growth if the government passed immigration reform. Believe it or not, there are two $1.4 trillion figures the White House has mentioned when it comes to immigration reform and they mean two completely different things: One comes from the Congressional Budget Office. And one comes from the Center for American Progress. At the heart of both is the idea that citizenship brings higher wages.

And, since April, the economy has averaged 275,000 new jobs per month (288,000 in June 2014), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate is approaching 6 percent (6.1 percent in June 2014) and within the next year will likely be in the mid-5-percent range, low enough for the Federal Reserve to end some of its extraordinary stimulus measures on interest rates and asset purchases. Moreover, long-term unemployment has slowly fallen over the past 12 months (from 36.9 percent to 32.8 percent), and in June more than 80,000 people entered the workforce, reversing a trend during the recession and much of the recovery, of declining participation in the labor force. But this recovering economy is not yet mirroring a healthy pre-recession economy either, say economists.

 
 

THE NUMBERS as of 2:35 P.M. EDT


DOW +27.82 (+0.21%) Dow up; NASDAQ +7.80 (+0.26%)Nasdaq up S&P 500 +3.99 (+0.24%)S&P 500 up


Mid-day Update

PODCAST: European banks leery of Bitcoin

The European Banking Authority is recommending that banks there keep away from Bitcoin, a virtual currency favored by techies, libertarians, and, sometimes, criminals.

Drivers this summer are paying the highest gas prices since 2008, in part because of the turmoil in Iraq. But mass transit riders are also feeling the sting of new rate increases in cities like Boston, St. Louis, and D.C. Some of this is driven by increasing operating costs, but even with these fare hikes, the transit systems will still lose money.

In India poor investment in cold storage warehouses and supply chain infrastructure means that a lot of food is wasted before reaching consumers-- 7 billion dollars every year.

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