economy

Say you are one of the roughly 15,000 American steel workers who have been laid off — or received notice of coming layoffs — in the past year.

You and your boss would cheer any reduction in China's massive steelmaking capacity. Chinese steel has been flooding global markets and hurting profits for U.S. companies.

The Labor Department's May jobs report, released Friday, was surprisingly bad.

Economists scrambled to explain why they hadn't seen a hiring dropoff coming. Most had predicted about 160,000 new jobs for May, but in fact, only 38,000 materialized. That was the smallest increase since September, 2010.

The U.S. economy added just 38,000 jobs in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in its monthly report — far fewer than the 160,000 that economists had anticipated.

NPR business editor Marilyn Geewax called the number "shockingly low."

The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage points, the Bureau says, to 4.7 percent — but that can be attributed to people dropping out of the workforce, Marilyn says.

Tre Hargett, Twitter

Tennessee's economy continues to grow in 2016 according to a new economic report. The Secretary of State's office released the report Tuesday. 

The U.S. economy gained 242,000 jobs in February while average wages dropped slightly, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Friday.

The unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent.

The report indicates stronger job growth than expected, and an improvement over the previous month. January's count of 151,000 new jobs — far lower than had been anticipated — was revised upward, to 172,000. And the job gains for December were also revised upward, from 262,000 to 271,000.

At the Lee Valley consignment sale near Tekamah, Neb., dozens of used tractors, planters and other equipment were on the auction block for farmers trying to save a few extra dollars. It was a muddy day, with trucks and four-wheelers leaving deep black ruts — fitting conditions for an industry wallowing in bad news.

Tre Hargett, Twitter

The Tennessee economy continues a trend of slow and steady growth primarily in urban centers. According to The Quarterly Business and Economic Indicators Report released by the Secretary of State’s Office more than 7,700 new businesses were filed from October to December 2015, a more than 7% increase from the same period last year. More than half of these were in the state's four largest counties: Davidson, Shelby, Knox and Hamilton, signaling an increase in urbanization. 

The U.S. economy added 292,000 jobs in December while unemployment held steady at 5 percent, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number of new jobs was higher than many economists had anticipated; NPR's John Ydstie says experts had expected about 200,000 new jobs.

No question, this was a traumatic, sad week because of the mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. It's not easy to turn to good news.

But putting grief aside for a moment, there were indeed positive developments for the country in recent days. With cheaper energy, more jobs and higher stock prices, most Americans have been seeing their financial situations improve. Here are some of this week's highlights:

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Several economic development projects are in the works in Murray and Calloway County. From an automotive parts manufacturer, to buildings equipped for potential use to road projects, there are several goals for 2015. We get a scan from Mark Manning, Murray Calloway Economic Development Corporation's Executive Director, on Sounds Good.

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