Crisis In The Housing Market
8:46 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Can Construction Help Build The Recovery?

A construction worker walks on the roof of a newly built home in Westport, Conn. The construction sector, which has been battered by the depressed housing sector, added 17,000 jobs in December.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 9:05 am

Of all the good news in the December unemployment report, perhaps the most encouraging sign for the 2012 labor market was the increase in construction jobs. That sector has lost more than 2 million jobs as the housing market imploded 5 years ago, but increases in construction hiring and spending could be cautious signs of a turnaround, analysts say.

Overall, employers created 200,000 jobs last month, sending the U.S. unemployment rate down to 8.5 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.

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It's All Politics
8:38 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Taking New Hampshire's Temperature, On A Frozen Lake

Dan Shaw of the Andover police department sets a line with friend Matt Snow of Belmont, N.H.
John W. Pool NPR

Reporter Liz Halloran and I have been motoring around New Hampshire the past few days, chasing candidate events and taking the political temperature of the state.

On the way to a Santorum event Thursday we spotted a small lake dotted with ice fishing shelters — the first we'd seen all week. Apparently, the ice only became thick enough in the last two weeks or so.

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Business
8:37 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Better-Than-Expected Jobs Report Lifts Markets

The Labor Department announced Friday that 200,000 jobs were created in December, and the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent. The new hiring came largely in transportation and warehousing. Tens of thousands of other people found jobs in retail and manufacturing.

Remembrances
8:33 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Barbara Lea: Remembering A Versatile Cabaret Singer

Barbara Lea was a singer known for her straightforward interpretations, precise diction, and respect for the intentions of each song's composer and lyrist. She died December 26th at the age of 82, from complications from Alzheimer's disease.

Lea got her start singing in clubs in the 1950s. Her first album, A Woman in Love, released in 1955, was named one of the finest recordings of the year. Though she dropped out of singing for a while, she made a comeback in New York's cabaret world in the 1970s.

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The Two-Way
8:30 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Report: Tiny Miscalculation Might Have Slightly Skewed Iowa Caucuses Count

Barb Hansen tallies votes during a GOP caucus in precinct 42 near Smithland, Iowa, on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012.
Dave Weaver AP

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 8:38 am

"Could Typo Rewrite Caucus History?"

That's the headline at the website of Des Moines' KCCI-TV, which reports that one Republican from Iowa's Appanoose County thinks a miscount at a caucus attended by 53 people there might have mistakenly contributed to Mitt Romney's reported eight-vote victory over Rick Santorum.

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The Salt
8:23 am
Fri January 6, 2012

What's In That Food? The SuperTracker Knows

The SuperTracker is an interactive tool that builds off of MyPlate.gov.
USDA

January is a giddy time for weight-loss companies, which usually rake in profits as New Year's resolutions shuttle earnest dieters to their doors. Now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture would like to get in on the action, too. Not the money, mind you. The feds want us to use their new online food-and-exercise tracker, SuperTracker.

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It's All Politics
7:11 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Under Media Glare, Santorum's Record Draws Closer Look

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum talks with a customer while surrounded by news crews as he pays a visit to customers at the Tilt 'n Diner in Tilton, NH, on Jan. 5.
ROD LAMKEY JR The Washington Times /Landov

Now that he's getting his moment at the front of the GOP pack, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is drawing the kind of scrutiny he's escaped during all those lonely months at the bottom of the polls.

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The Two-Way
6:34 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Jobless Rate Dips To 8.5 Percent, 200,000 Jobs Added To Payrolls

The nation's unemployment rate edged down to 8.5 percent — its lowest level in nearly three years — as 200,000 jobs were were added to payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported.

We'll add more details from the report shortly, so hit your "refresh" button to see our latest updates.

Update at 8:45 a.m. ET. Looking Back:

At 8.5 percent, the jobless rate is the lowest since February 2009's 8.3 percent.

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The Two-Way
5:55 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Coming Up: December Jobs And Unemployment Report

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 5:57 am

The most-anticipated story of the morning seems to be the December jobs and unemployment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is due for release at 8:30 a.m. ET.

We'll post on the news as soon as possible after it's available.

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