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U.S. economy grew anemically in third quarter

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The economy grew at a slightly faster pace over the summer as Americans spent a little more freely.

The government reported Friday morning that the economy expanded at a 2-percent annual rate in the July-September quarter. It marked a slight improvement from the feeble 1.7-percent growth in the April-June quarter. Still, the economy isn't growing at a strong enough pace to make a noticeable dent in high unemployment.

Consumers boosted spending at a 2.6-percent pace. That marked the biggest quarterly increase since a 4.1-percent gain at the end of 2006 before the recession hit.

In addition, employment costs posted another modest gain in the July-to-September quarter with compensation for state and local government employees turning in the weakest performance in nearly three decades.

Employment costs for civilian workers rose 0.4 percent in the third quarter and are up just 1.9 percent for the 12 months ending in September, the Labor Department reported Friday. High unemployment following a deep recession continues to depress workers' bargaining power.

State and local government workers, who have been battered by shrinking budgets, fared even worse than employees of private industry. Their compensation was flat in the third quarter and up only 1.7 percent in the past 12 months.

Both were the weakest showings on records that go back 28 years.

The 1.9-percent 12-month rise in compensation for all civilian workers was little changed from a 1.8-percent increase for the 12 months ending in June. Those gains are significantly below the 3.3-percent increase for the 12 months ending in December 2007, the month the recession began.

With more than 8 million jobs lost from December 2007 to December of last year, employees have not had the bargaining power to demand higher wages.

For the third quarter, wages and salaries for civilian workers rose 0.4 percent, matching the second quarter increase, while benefits were up 0.5 percent, also the same as the April-to-June quarter.

Wages and salaries make up 70 percent of employee compensation while benefits, which include health insurance and pensions, make up the other 30 percent.

For state and local workers, the flat reading on total compensation in the third quarter reflected a 0.3-percent drop in wages and salaries and a 0.7-percent rise in benefits.

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  • Stimulus working in spite of GOP
    This is remarkable in light of the GOP organized plan to undermind the economy and make it fail just to get a political advantage in the election.

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  1. why oh why does this state continue to elect these people....do you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

  2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

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  4. You do not get speeding ticket first time you speed and this is not first time Mr.Page has speed. One act should not define a man and this one act won't. He got off with a slap on the wrist. I agree with judge no person was injured by his actions. The state was robbed of money by paying too much rent for a building and that money could have been used for social services. The Page family maybe "generous" with their money but for most part all of it is dirty money that he obtained for sources that are not on the upright. Page is the kind of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. He paid off this judge like he has many other tine and walked away. Does he still have his license. I believe so. Hire him to get you confiscated drug money back. He will. It will cost you.

  5. I remain amazed at the level of expertise of the average Internet Television Executive. Obviously they have all the answers and know the business inside and out.

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