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Steady increase in jobs likely

March 8, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — Job growth probably continued at a modest but steady pace last month, buoyed by consumer spending and strength in the housing and auto industries....

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Mar-08-13 2:34 PM

Good news on the economy, I think -- 236,000 new jobs in February, according to the Labor Department. But much of this comes from a spike in new home construction (46,000 new construction jobs and 24,000 related jobs) -- fueled by the Fed's rock-bottom interest rates. And the lion's share of home construction as been instigated by investors creating new rental units rather than people buying new homes. In other words, it's speculative. The Fed's almost free money hasn't been going to average Americans, most of whom still have credit problems and are reluctant (or unable) to borrow more. It's been going to the banks and the wealthy, who have been making speculative investments. The stock market's rise is also due to easy money, because bond yields are now so low (courtesy of the Fed) that investors have been driven into stocks. Bottom line: Celebrate the good news on the employment front, but beware the speculative bubbles growing all around us, courtesy of the Fed. -- Robert Reich

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