Last Friday, the employment number was terrible. If you stripped out the temporary census worker jobs and, then, netted the loss of other government jobs against the slight growth in the private sector, only 21,000 jobs were created last month. On average, that's only 400 jobs added per state. In fact, 400 people would hardly fill "half" the seating available in an average high school gym.
This morning, the Retail Sales number was also abysmal. Sales in the last month fell by 1.2 percent. This confirms why last Friday's employment number was so bad. Since 70% of the jobs in this country come from small businesses and, primarily, from retailers like your local franchised McD's or your local independently owned gas station, it is no wonder why those business didn't hire last month. People just weren't buying as much as they were in previous months. Quite simply, it takes increased buying for any retail business to even consider any new hires.
Now, one month's set of numbers doesn't necessarily spell a trend. However, if the consumer is seen as pulling back in the next report or in the next few months ahead, the economy will have stalled and the economic recovery will definitely be put off. If that be the case, we easily could see the double-dip recession that so many economist have been worrying about.