Sharp Decline In US Factory Orders

I didn’t have time this morning to do a post on initial jobless claims, but I heard it was fairly good news. I think it was the only good news of the day on the economic front. This is the Obama economy after all. There was a sharp decline in factory orders in July.

New orders for U.S. factory goods dropped in July by the most in four months, a worrisome sign for economic growth in the third quarter.

The Commerce Department on Thursday said new orders for manufactured goods dropped 2.4 percent. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected an even sharper decline.

The decline was spread broadly across the nation’s factories, from those producing computersand machinery to cars and electrical equipment.

There also was a surge in announced layoffs in August.

The number of planned layoffs at U.S. firms surged in August to their highest in half a year, with industrial goods manufacturers the hardest hit, a report on Thursday showed.

Employers announced 50,462 layoffs last month, up 33.8 percent from 37,701 in July, according to the report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The August job cuts were up 57 percent from the same time a year ago. For 2013 so far, employers have announced 347,095 job losses, close to the 352,185 that were seen in the first eight months of last year.

Industrial goods manufacturers saw the biggest layoffs, cutting 22,162 employees, the largest total for the sector since January 2009.

Hot Air has more, including how Gallup’s latest survey shows unemployment is up and workforce participation is down. I wonder if workforce participation is down enough for the government to tell us the the unemployment rate dropped. We’ll find out in the morning.