Monday AM August 9th, 2010

Private employers have been adding workers, according to the Labor Department, but at a weak pace. One Houston-area republican congressman continues railing against democratic leadership for the lack of economic growth. Ed Mayberry reports.

Companies added a net total of 71,000 jobs in July, far below the roughly 200,000 needed each month to reduce the unemployment rate. Overall, the economy lost a net total of 131,000 jobs last month, as temporary census jobs ended. The jobless rate is unchanged at 9.5 percent. Congressman Kevin Brady is the top House Republican on the Joint Economic Committee.

University of Michigan’s July Index of Consumer Sentiment fell dramatically by 10.8 percent to 67.8–the lowest level in a year. The Index of Consumer Expectation fell even further, to the lowest level since March of last year, the month after Congress enacted the stimulus. Overall, the data suggests the current slow-down in spending is likely to persist well into 2011, as it reflects a widespread and general realignment of job and wage expectations.

President Barack Obama is hailing seven straight months of private job creation as a good sign for the economy, saying the country is now consistently adding jobs instead of losing them in large numbers. But Congressman Brady points out that Congress is bailing out state and local government workers, even as energy workers are being idled because of the White House moratorium on drilling in the Gulf.

While tens of thousands of American energy workers risk losing their jobs right now due to the White House moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, Congress will consider another $26 billion bailout of state and local government workers. And three weeks after we extended the invitation to President Obama to travel to Houston to meet face-to-face with energy workers and small businesses whose livelihoods are threatened by the president’s moratorium, we’ve heard nothing but silence.

BAE Systems, which has workers in Sealy, says between 1,100 and 1,300 positions are affected in layoffs announced last week for its U.S. Global Tactical Systems business. The reduction follows the loss of the U.S. Army’s Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles contract. Meanwhile, Toyota has hired 1,000 workers in adding Tacoma pickup assembly to its San Antonio factory, which has been making Tundras.

Ed Mayberry, KUHF News.