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The Federal Reserve’s internal report highlights two items in particular: another decline in the number of jobs in the economy and a sudden decrease in orders for durable goods.
The number of jobs in the economy decreased by 93,000 last month, following a decline of 49,000 the month before. In addition, the number of announced mass layoffs increased to 1,258 last month, affecting more than 130,000 workers. That was higher than in August of 2002 and represents another in a series of recent year-over-year increases in announced mass layoffs. A mass layoff is defined as one involving 50 workers or more. An increase in the number of announced mass layoffs suggests even fewer jobs in the economy in the coming months.
Orders for durable goods dropped by nearly 1% last month, following a series of modest increases earlier this summer. Even orders for computers and communications equipment declined. Durable goods are defined as manufactured products designed to last three years or more. This decrease in orders for durable goods suggests another slowdown in manufacturing activity in the coming months.
The report concludes that "an acceleration in the number of unemployed and a decline in manufacturing activity seems inconsistent with an economic revival."
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