ECONOMY -- January 8, 2010 at 8:35 AM ET
Friday's Headlines: U.S. Loses 85,000 Jobs, Unemployment Rate Holds at 10%
The U.S. unemployment rate remained steady at 10 percent for the second straight month, according to a report from the Labor Department. Although that might signal some economic stability, U.S. employers cut 85,000 jobs in December, suggesting that broader recovery remains further out on the horizon.
Correspondent Hari Sreenivasan will have more on the jobless numbers later this morning when he talks to New York Times columnist David Leonhardt. And at 2:40 p.m., President Barack Obama will announce "new Recovery Act funding for clean technology manufacturing jobs," according to a White House statement.
The funds are intended to support tens of thousands of clean energy jobs and advance solar and wind technology. The dollar amount of the funding will likely be released ahead of the speech.
The Labor Department's monthly report also included a revision to its November numbers, showing that employers added 4,000 jobs, the first gain in nearly two years. For October, 16,000 job losses were added to the 190,000 that were originally reported.
National Public Radio reports on a new trend taking over the financial sector: risk management. After two years of failed banks and tumbling stocks, Wall Street is looking ahead and bracing itself for future meltdowns.
Risk management companies are seeing a huge upturn in business, according to NPR, as more and more firms decide to play it safe after the global recession.
Other financial sectors remain in a slump, however. The Washington Post reports this morning that rising gas prices could stifle the economic recovery. With unemployment rates steady at 10 percent, paying close to $3 per gallon could severely weaken Americans' chances of financial rebounding.
On Thursday, the average gas price hit $2.70, the highest it's been since October 2008, according to the auto club AAA. Experts blame the rising cost on oil, which continues to skyrocket because of increased demand and a weak U.S. dollar, says the Post.