The number of Americans applying for first-time jobless benefits rose last week, the Labor Department reported on Thursday, reversing a recent decline and suggesting the labor market remained brittle.
Separately, the Commerce Department said retail sales rose at the weakest pace in seven months in December, as consumers pulled back toward the end of the holiday shopping season, cutting purchases at department stores and spending less on electronics.
Both of which suggest that we are still bumping along the bottom of the deep hole we have dug - a little up then a little down.
Closer to home this is disturbing:
The UO Index of Economic Indicators, which tracks state and national data, declined more than 2.75 percent in November, the fourth consecutive month it’s fallen that much.
Oregon temp hiring fell that month, as did trucking activity in the state – as well as national manufacturing orders, consumer confidence and the interest-rate spread.
But in two positive signs, Oregon residential building permits increased in November and initial unemployment claims fell. Yet the declining claims haven’t translated into hiring gains. So while the national economy has added jobs recently, Oregon payrolls have moved sideways since February.