American companies hired fewer workers in May than forecast and workers dropped out of the labor force, indicating government support is still needed to spur economic growth. Private payrolls rose by 41,000, Labor Department figures showed today, trailing the 180,000 gain forecast by economists. Including government workers, employment rose by 431,000, boosted by a jump in hiring of temporary census workers. The jobless rate fell to 9.7 percent from 9.9 percent.
The federal government is now $13 trillion in the red, the Treasury Department reported Wednesday, marking the first time the government has sunk that far into debt and putting a sharp point on the spending debate on Capitol Hill.
The Obama administration is blocking all new offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, a day after regulators approved a new permit for drilling in shallow water.
Thomas Hoenig, the president of the Kansas City Federal Reserve bank, laid out on Thursday his proposed plan to take short-term interest rates from near-zero to 4.5%. In a speech in Bartlesville, Okla., Hoenig said the country pays a high cost for low interest rates, suggesting that the financial crisis stemmed from the very low interest rates of 2002-2005.
The brokerage firm that’s faced the most scrutiny from regulators in the past year over the shorting of mortgage related securities seems to have had good timing when it came to something else: the stock of British oil giant BP.
According to regulatory filings, RawStory.com has found that Goldman Sachs sold 4,680,822 shares of BP in the first quarter of 2010. Goldman’s sales were the largest of any firm during that time. Goldman would have pocketed slightly more than $266 million if their holdings were sold at the average price of BP’s stock during the quarter.