400,000 More Jobs: Where Did Those Come From?

400,000 More Jobs: Where Did Those Come From?

During election seasons, the conventional wisdom may be, "It's the economy, stupid," but it's not always easy to figure out what the economy's doing.

Thursday, a report issued by the Commerce Department reported that the economy grew at a slower pace in the second quarter than the government had reported in August. It grew 1.3%, compared to 2% in the first quarter of 2012 and 3% compared to the end of 2011.

The same day, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that about 400,000 more Americans have jobs than previously thought. (The BLS always does a first jobs estimate based on a survey of 160,000 employers and then revises the figures based on tax records, giving it a much more accurate count.)

And housing continued to show signs of revival, with housing prices showing a sustained climb for the first time in two years, spurring hope that it might spark economic growth.

Mixed signals also abounded in the tech world: Facebook stock, which had been on a long slide since its IPO, perked up a few weeks ago only to drop this Monday after publication of an in-depth Barron's article, whose title said it all, "Still Too Pricey."

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Meanwhile, Marissa Mayer, the newly installed chief executive of Yahoo, spoke to employees to articulate her plan for the ailing internet giant; news reporters trying to read the tea leaves from the private meeting believe she will be focused on expanding Yahoo with investments and acquisitions.

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