The AP on the latest job numbers: "A wave of census layoffs cut the nation's payrolls in June for the first time in six months, while private employers added a modest number of jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 9.5 percent, its lowest level in almost a year. Employers cut 125,000 jobs last month, the most since last October, the Labor Department said Friday. The loss was driven by the end of 225,000 temporary census jobs. Businesses added a net total of 83,000 workers, an improvement from May. But that's also below March and April totals."
The New York Times on the numbers: "The job loss was in line with expectations. And with the anticipated loss of hundreds of thousands of Census jobs — jobs that had accounted for almost all the growth in the labor market in May — economists were focused in particular on the change in private-sector hiring. There, the news was better but muted, with 83,000 new jobs created."
The Washington Post looks at the fragile housing economy. "After showing signs of a fledgling recovery from the worst downturn in decades, the U.S. housing market appears to be heading back toward the doldrums, as the expiration of a lucrative tax credit for buyers and increased uncertainty about the economy cause home sales to plummet. The sudden weakness in residential real estate has struck nearly every region of the country, according to recent government and industry data, driving down sales of new and previously owned homes alike in May. On Thursday, the National Association of Realtors said an index that measures sales contracts signed on existing homes plunged 30 percent in May, more than twice what analysts had forecast, to the lowest level since the group started tracking the numbers in 2001."
"President Barack Obama is announcing on Friday new Recovery Act awards aimed at creating jobs and driving economic growth. He is to be joined by Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack when he speaks at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland," the AP writes.
"President Obama's program extending health care coverage to the uninsured with preexisting conditions launched Thursday -- but not in New York," The New York Daily News reports. "Officials say the delay is because Gov. Paterson chose to have the state manage the stopgap program instead of the federal Health and Human Services Department… Enrollments for those who have been without coverage for at least six months began in 21 states that accepted federal management, but results were mixed in New York and the 28 other states that chose to keep the program under local control."