What to say about the stunning jump in the nation's unemployment figure from 5% to 5.5% in one month? Well, the most appropriate sentiment cannot actually be printed on a family blog. We will suffice to note that this is doubleplus ungood.

However, it's not quite as bad as it sounds, because this is the season when all the young people come onto the job market; the number of lost jobs reported was around 275,00, but about 850,000 people entered the workforce. And the payroll survey shows a rather less dramatic decline of 50,000, though previous monthly figures were also revised.

Still, not good news; those people entering the workforce kind of need jobs. I imagine John McCain will be looking for more ways to substantively distance himself from Bush's economic policies. Let's hope more pharma-bashing isn't the first thing that springs to mind.

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