Notations For the Week-End: On the United States.....

It has been a difficult first week for 2015 around the World.   One bright spot was the Economy in the United States as noted  by the drop in the U3 unemployment rate and as almost 252,000 Jobs were created during the 4th Quarter of 2014: 

A more "accurate" view is the U6 rate which is defined as , "..  not only people without work seeking full-time employment (the more familiar U-3 rate), but also counts "marginally attached workers and those working part-time for economic reasons." Note that some of these part-time workers counted as employed by U-3 could be working as little as an hour a week. And the "marginally attached workers" include those who have gotten discouraged and stopped looking, but still want to work. The age considered for this calculation is 16 years and over..."  What will be quite an accomplishment is if and when the U6 rate also drops below at least 8%.   The problem is that despite this growth, it is yet to be further broad-based.  

Markets have been volatile over the past week, though.    It is welcome news as Crude has dropped to below $50 a Barrel.    We have seen reports of Gas being as low as $ 1.55 in some part of the Country.    Whether that is sustainable is a different question as countries around the World dependent on Oil will continue to face profound challenges.

Congress is also back at work as the Republicans took charge.   The team @ The +National Priorities Project shared a snapshot of what is before the country and we wanted to note this here:

2015 Budget Battle Deadlines
In order for Congress to avoid rushed backroom budget deals like the 1,600 page Cromnibus, they must adhere to deadlines in the budget process. Here are the ones they need to keep in mind this year.

About Those Resolutions...
If Congress could achieve just these three new year's resolutions for 2015, we would consider it modest progress compared to the gridlock of 2014.

What Lawmakers Have Been Up To
Already this week, the new Congress has taken action to implement restrictions on Obamacare, approve the Keystone XL pipeline, cut Social Security, and make tax cuts for the wealthy appear more economically attractive.

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