Set your clocks for 5:30 tomorrow morning. The Bloomberg consensus of economists shows an additional 90,000 private sector jobs in July but a loss of 140,000 Census jobs. Blend it all up and you're looking at a loss of 65,000 U.S. jobs and an unemployment rate of 9.6 percent, hardly terrific numbers for an economy that keeps going nowhere fast. From the NYT:
While some economists have started ominous talk of a double dip for the economy, others describe a technical recovery that simply "feels like a recession." Steve Blitz, senior economist at Majestic Research, said he was not predicting a return to recession, and certainly not a depression. But, he said, the economy appears to have moved from the Great Recession to "the Great Stall." "There is nothing here to suggest that there is some sort of momentum building on the upside," said Mr. Blitz, who is forecasting that the jobs report will show the addition of 75,000 private-sector jobs in July.
Optimists say that those who focus too closely on the indicators of the day are looking backward rather than forward. Robert J. Barbera, chief economist of Mount Lucas Management, said that when indexes of consumer confidence and manufacturing -- as well as government reports of hiring -- were strong from January to April, there was no way to predict the slowdown that arrived in May and June. Similarly, he said, slowing indicators now do not necessarily predict further slowing. "Clearly if all it was about was that once they go in that direction they continue in that direction, then you'd go to infinity or zero," Mr. Barbera said.