US economy adds 178,000 jobs in November; unemployment rate drops to 4.6%

The U.S. economy added 178,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent, a level not seen since August 2007, according to government data released Friday morning. The first employment report since voters went to the polls last month shows an economy in strong shape as President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office.

“It looks like firms are pretty bullish about what they’re going to see in 2017 and are continuing their strong hiring of the past few years,” said Steve Rick, chief economist at insurance company CUNA Mutual Group. “This is a good tailwind for the new administration.”

Read more at The Washington Post: U.S. economy added 178,000 jobs in November; unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 percent – The Washington Post

What would economists do? Carrier incentives stir debate over ‘rewarding’ offshoring

The $7 million incentive package Carrier Corp. will receive as part of a deal the company reached with President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pencerepresents a departure from how tax credits are typically used in Indiana.

It’s also the kind of agreement Trump slammed on the campaign trail.

The furnace manufacturer will receive $5 million in tax credits over 10 years in exchange for keeping 1,069 jobs at its Indianapolis plant, with an average wage of $30.91 hour. The company also will receive $1 million in training grants and up to $1 million in additional tax credits based on Carrier’s planned $16 million investment in the west-side factory.

Read more at USA Today: Carrier incentives stir debate over ‘rewarding’ offshoring

But the deal differs from most other economic development agreements in Indiana, where incentives are usually aimed at luring jobs, not merely retaining them. In fact, about 400 workers at Carrier will still lose their jobs under the deal, as will 700 employees at a related company in Huntington.

Some experts say the deal sets a troubling precedent.

“It’s a potentially dangerous policy where you reward a company that threatens to leave. It’s a dangerous precedent. Why wouldn’t every other company make the exact same pitch?” said Steve Weitzner of Silverlode Consulting, a site-selection firm. “In this case, you’re rewarding a company that is actually cutting a lot of jobs in the state.”

But others say that economic development has to be handled on a case-by-case basis.

“It’s a judgment call,” said Mitch Roob, who led the state’s economic development agency under then-Gov. Mitch Daniels. “The IEDC has a fair amount of leeway, as they should, because there’s no way for the legislature to understand what the particular circumstances might be at a point in time.”

Read more at USA Today: Carrier incentives stir debate over ‘rewarding’ offshoring