Vital Signs: Job Growth Could Cushion Economy

On tap: August employment figures, business activity reports from the Institute for Supply Management, July pending home sales and construction spending

If the economy is to make it through the current financial market mess and deepening housing downturn relatively unscathed, then job growth must hold up. So far this year, hiring has remained strong enough to keep consumers spending even in the face of $3 per gallon gasoline earlier this summer and falling home values. If businesses remain confident enough to hire, and if they see demand holding up fairly well, then the overall economy may indeed make it through the rest of this year with only a few bumps and bruises.

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