Deciphering mixed job data

A banner reading 'Jobs' hangs on thre facade of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington.

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: A couple of jobs reports out today could be an optimistic bit of news heading into Friday, when we get the Labor Department's July employment report. Payroll company ADP said today private employers added 114,000 jobs -- and that beat forecasts by 20,000 jobs. But despite those notes of optimism we got some other economic data this morning that's a bit more worrisome.

Marketplace's Gregory Warner is with us live to talk about that. Good morning, Gregory.

GREGORY WARNER: Good morning.

CHIOTAKIS: So what's the bad news, then?

WARNER: See, I always get stuck with the bad news, right? Well, we learned this morning that job lay-offs are at a 16 month high -- and that's from Challenger Gray and Christmas. The firm's CEO John Challenger says the first three months of the year saw good jobs numbers, this marks three months of pretty meager job growth.

JOHN CHALLENGER: We may be just in another part of that pattern but there are increasing concerns that maybe the economy is slowing down and headed towards recession.

CHIOTAKIS: He said it, not me -- but the specter of another recession is looming, right? How worried should we be?

WARNER: I called Jan Randolph director of Global Risk Assessment for IHS Global Insight he is not predicting a recession yet and here's why. Steady job growth is the last thing you'd expect to happen immediately after a recession. First we should see companies ordering more stuff or people buying more. Here's more bad news:

JAN RANDOLPH: We're simply not seeing that yet. U.S. corporates -- as well as European corporates are sitting on an awful lot of cash but they don't really want to invest!

WARNER: So Randolph calls this -- decidedly not a recession -- more like an anemic limbo.

CHIOTAKIS: Mmm, nice place to be. Marketplace's Gregory Warner. Gregory, thanks.

WARNER: Thanks, Steve.

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