Sign "O" the Times

Remain calm. We still have plenty of food stamps:

A record 46.7 million Americans received food stamps in June, up 0.4 percent from the previous month, the government said.

Participation was 3.3 percent higher than a year earlier and has remained higher than 46 million all year as the unemployment rate has stagnated just above 8 percent. New jobless numbers will be released Sept. 7.


That’s almost one in six Americans, figuring in daylight savings and the wind chill factor. But what has to have the White House really worried is that the BLS will release the August jobs report the morning after President Empty Chair’s acceptance speech. We won’t have the officially official bogus numbers from the BLS until then, but private firms have their own estimates — which don’t look very promising:

The pace of growth in manufacturing remained sluggish in August as exports declined for a third straight month and firms were slow to add new workers, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The final Markit U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index stood at 51.5 this month, below a preliminary estimate of 51.9. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

A slight increase in output and overall new orders helped nudge the index above 51.4, where it stood at the end of July.

But the pace of growth was still one of the weakest since the sector stopped shrinking in October of 2009.


That’s hardly encouraging. And let’s not forget that July’s jobs report contained an inexplicably high Birth-Death rate — the BLS assumed 60,000 new-business jobs, when it had previously assumed only one-tenth that number for the previous two Julys. Can you say, “Downward revision?” I knew you could.

But it makes you wonder what tricks they’ll pull out for the morning after the day Empty Chair accepts his party’s nomination.


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