The search for mortgage/housing "spillover"
But based on the latest jobs figures, that could that be starting to change. Some news worth noting:
* Job cut announcements rose 22% year-over-year in August -- to 79,459 from 65,278 a year earlier. They surged 85% from July. Challenger, Gray & Christmas CEO John Challenger said the cuts stem from "the dramatic collapse of the mortgage and subprime lending markets." He likened the decline in jobs in the finance/lending industry to what happened in the airline industry after the 9/11 attacks.
* The payroll processing firm ADP also said the economy created just 38,000 private-sector jobs in August. That was down from 41,000 in July ... 143,000 in June ... and the lowest level since June 2003.
* Meanwhile, weekly jobless claims have started to trend higher. From a recent low of 303,500, the 4-week moving average of claims has climbed to 324,500. That's not a big move, of course. But if we convincingly break above, say, 340,000, it'll be a sign that we're seeing much more spillover -- the kind that gets economists whispering the "R" word in muttered voices.