A "help wanted" sign earlier this year in the window of a clothing store in Pasadena, Calif.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
December 26, 2013 Economists caution against reading too much into the latest economic data. During the holidays, offices that collect the information aren't always open and that can delay some of their work.
Janet Yellen, who is poised to move from the No. 2 to the No. 1 post at the Federal Reserve.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
December 20, 2013 Janet Yellen would be the first woman to head the central bank. On Friday, the Senate voted to head off any potential filibuster of her nomination. A confirmation vote is scheduled for Jan. 6.
At a Ford plant in Michigan, workers load a battery into a Ford C-MAX plug-in hybrid vehicle. The economy picked up speed in the third quarter. Economists caution, though, that it may slow in coming quarters.
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December 20, 2013 Growth was stronger than thought in the third quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says. It now estimates that gross domestic product grew at a 4.1 percent annual rate. That's the best pace since late 2011.
A "sale pending" sign in front of a home in San Anselmo, Calif., earlier this year.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
December 19, 2013 The housing market is cooling because of higher mortgage rates and limited supply, economists say. Meanwhile, seasonal factors related to the holidays may have temporarily pushed up claims for jobless benefits.
December 12, 2013 Officials say it's difficult to account for shifts caused by factors related to the holidays and separate them from the trends more closely linked to the economy's underlying strengths and weaknesses.
December 6, 2013 The unemployment rate fell to 7 percent and employers added 203,000 jobs to payrolls in November, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The largely positive data could build anticipation that the Federal Reserve might move to taper its stimulus program.
December 5, 2013 U.S. real gross domestic product rose from a 2.5 percent gain in the second quarter. And the number of people filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance fell to 298,000 last week.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Bri Smith (right) of Atlanta talks with a Mary Kay consultant during a November job fair for veterans.
December 4, 2013 The latest ADP National Employment Report says private employers added 215,000 jobs last month, making it the strongest month for job growth since a year ago. And in October, America's trade gap narrowed on the strength of record exports to China, Canada and Mexico.
While a key measure of factory orders weakened in October, there's better news about the labor market: fewer Americans are filing claims for unemployment insurance.
November 27, 2013 Fewer Americans filed for unemployment insurance last week. But fewer orders were placed for equipment and other so-called durable goods in October.
Housing has been one of the economy's bright spots.
November 26, 2013 The housing sector has been one of the economy's bright spots in recent months. Prices are still going up, but data suggest that the market is cooling or soon will be.
Part of the scene at a job fair for veterans and family members earlier this month in Marietta, Ga.
November 21, 2013 Fresh data signal that the labor market is at least holding steady and that inflation remains in check. In other major economic news Thursday, Janet Yellen's nomination to head the Federal Reserve is expected to be OK'd by the Senate Banking Committee.
November 14, 2013 Janet Yellen, President Obama's nominee to head the Federal Reserve, has her confirmation hearing Thursday. Before she spoke, there was word that the number of first-time claims filed for jobless benefits fell only slightly last week.
November 8, 2013 Employers expanded their payrolls by 204,000 jobs in October, about 80,000 more than expected. But the jobless rate still edged up to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent the month before. The unemployment rate appears to have been given a temporary boost by the partial government shutdown.
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Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank. Some say he's super.
Daniel Reinhardt /DPA/LANDOV
November 7, 2013 The European Central Bank is defying expectations by moving more aggressively than expected to boost its member nations' economies and head off potentially dangerous deflation. "Super Mario" Draghi, the ECB's president, is getting much of the credit.
Looking for work: The scene at a job fair in Emeryville, Calif., last month.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
November 7, 2013 Economists thought the government would say the economy slowed. But the initial estimate shows a slight pickup from the 2.5 percent pace of the second quarter.
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