The U.S. economy added a net 192,000 jobs in February, according to the latest Labor Department figures out Friday. The unemployment rate is now at 8.9 percent — the first time that figure has dropped below nine percent in nearly two years. Takeaway and WNYC economics editor, Charlie Herman and The Wall Street Journal's Kelly Evans look at the numbers.
The government is on the verge of a shutdown Friday, as Democrats and Republicans try and come up with some kind of resolution on the budget. Chrystia Freeland, global editor-at-large of Reuters, and Charlie Herman, economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC Radio, will look into their chrystal balls and see if any resolution is in sight. While Washington makes attempts at a budget resolution, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is heading to Switzherland to come up with a resolution on dealing with Col. Moammar el-Gadhafi and Libya. Are Gadhafi's days numbered?
Last week, Egypt and President Obama’s 2012 budget proposal held our attention. This week, ongoing upheaval in the Arab World, public sector unions and what Reuters Global Editor-at-Large Chrystia Freeland calls “the Groupon effect” promise to be on our monitors and TV screens.
With protesters in Egypt successfully overthrowing President Hosni Mubarak, following successful protests in Tunisia, we take a look at Yemen. That country has seen protests all weekend — not from the opposition but from the youth of the country, who have organized primarily via text messaging. Noel King, managing producer for The Takeaway, looks at why the U.S. should be keeping a close eye on what's happening in Yemen, as well as in Iran.
Egypt will likely dominate the headlines all week, with everyone waiting to see if President Hosni Mubarak will cede to the wishes of the protesters and step down. Calli Crossley, host of The Callie Crossley Show on WGBH in Boston, looks at what's ahead this week for the people of Egypt and its government. Charlie Herman, economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC in New York, looks at the potential impact the uprising in Egypt could have on the price of oil, and on how it could impact trade on the Suez Canal.
President Obama's State of the Union Address on Tuesday is the most anticipated event of the week. Kai Wright, editorial director of ColorLines Magazine, says this speech will signal the start of the 2012 presidential campaign. He shares what to expect from the President's speech, and what the aftermath of it will look like. Kai says the match up is no longer Republicans vs. Democrats, as much as it's Republicans vs. Republicans.
China's President Hu Jintao is heading to the United States this week and will meet with President Obama at the White House on Wednesday. Marcus Mabry, associate national editor for The New York Times, and Charlie Herman, economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC, discuss what they expect to come out of this meeting between the leaders of two of the most powerful countries in the world.
The jobs report for December is out with some good news: The unemployment rate is down to 9.4 percent, hitting the lowest it's been since May, 2009. However, the number of jobs created, 103,000 in December, came in lower than expected. Economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC, Charlie Herman explains.
The 112th Congress begins this week, and with the House under Republican control while Democrats still hold a slim majority in the Senate, many are expecting gridlock for the next two years. Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, and Charlie Herman, economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC, look at what's in store for Congress in the upcoming days, weeks, and even years. They also discuss the obstacles President Obama's health care plan may face this year: Will the plan as implemented look the same in 2012 as it does today?
President Obama returns from his family holiday in Hawaii to the first major reorganization of his administration. When restructuring, does he choose a team for governing or a team for winning and campaigning for 2012? Marcus Mabry, associate editor for our partner, The New York Times, joins us to discuss. Also,major snow storms hit multiple parts of the country over the weekend; we'll find out how the weather affected post-Christmas sales, and what retailers made during the shopping craze before the big day from Charlie Herman, economics editor for The Takeaway.
The Commerce Department has revised numbers reflecting how much the economy grew last summer, moving the GDP up from 2.5 to 2.6 percent. Economists are hailing the change as good news, but not great news. Many had hoped that the growth would reach as high as 3 percent. Is this a cause to backtrack on recent optimism, or still cautious progression on the economy? Economics editor for The Takeaway Charlie Herman joins us for more on the subject.
The Senate voted to repeal "don't ask, don't tell," over the weekend. The law, enacted 17 years ago by President Bill Clinton, allowed gays to serve in the military, as long as they did not reveal their sexual orientation. Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, looks at what's next for the repeal. Meanwhile, a number of economic indicators come out this week, and Charlie Herman, economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC, looks at the upcoming third quarter GDP numbers due out Wednesday, along with existing home sales numbers, and new home sales numbers on Thursday.
Many Congressional Democrats are not happy with President Obama's compromise with Republicans on extending tax cuts. House Democrats showed that by voting not to bring up the tax bill last week. Callie Crossley, host of the Callie Crossley Show on WGBH in Boston, and Charlie Herman, economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC, look at how the Senate plans to vote today on the bill.
Will we or will we not see an extension to the Bush-era tax cuts? That is what we’re all waiting to see play out this week. Democrats want to return to Clinton-era taxes on the wealthy, and Republicans are holding out for preserving the status quo. But President Obama and Democrats may be backing off on their stance, as a compromise looks like it could be in the works. The Bush-era cuts would be temporarily extended to everyone, rich and poor, for two years...if unemployment benefits are extended as well.
Employers added only 39,000 jobs last month — a big decline from October's 172,000. Private companies created the fewest number since January. The anemic month for the labor sector pushes the national unemployment rate from 9.6 to 9.8 percent. That's 19 months of a rate over 9 percent, the longest stretch on record. What do the new numbers mean for the economy?
Looking ahead to the week's agenda: Unemployment benefits for an estimated two million Americans is set to expire by tomorrow; Congress will decide whether or not to extend them. Time is running out to pass the new START agreement with Russia, as well. Two days of debate have been scheduled for Thursday and Friday that will address the Pentagon's soldier survey on "Don't Ask Don't Tell," and whether or not the repeal, backed by the White House, will go through. Also, the highly debated Bush Tax Cuts are set to expire in January for both middle and upper-income brackets...both sides seem to be adamantly sticking to their guns with no compromise in sight.
With Thanksgiving approaching, how many notches you'll have to relax that belt buckle won't be the only question people will be asking. Much of the focus will be on air safety and retail sales. Many travelers are not happy about the latest security measures the TSA is using for secondary screening, including full-body scans and thorough pat-downs. Many see both as extremely invasive, but the TSA says that both measures will stay. Callie Crossley, host of "The Callie Crossley Show" at WGBH in Boston, will see if any changes will come as Thanksgiving quickly approaches.
The 110th Congress begins its lame duck session today, and the question remains: how much can lawmakers get done before the new members step in? Charlie Herman, economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC looks at how this session of Congress handles the Bush tax cuts, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and the new START treaty.
Government spending, according to some conventional wisdom, is out of control. That battle cry rallied many politicians during the mid-term elections, helped elect Tea Party and conservative Republican candidates, while putting Democrats on the defensive over the deficit. But now that elections are over, do politicians have the stomach for real change? Yesterday, the co-chairs of President Obama's non-binding fiscal commission on deficit reduction released a draft plan to curb spending ... but the plan met with general dismay in Washington. Why?
After the beating Democrats took in last week's mid-term elections, all eyes, including those of our managing producer, Noel King, will be looking at what the GOP's initial moves will be this week. She'll also look at President Obama's continued trip through Asia, along with Charlie Herman, business and economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC Radio.