Talk of the economy double-dipping back into a recession is becoming hot again thanks to unemployment figures that appear to do nothing but worsen.
The economy added 18,000 jobs in June, according to official data, far lower than expected and brought the unemployment rate to 9.2 percent.
That's up from 9.1 percent in May and 9.0 percent in April.
"Even the hours worked slipped. It's just a horrific report. Unemployment going up is not good," says Marc Chandler, Brown Brothers Harriman chief currency strategist, according to CNBC.
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Earlier in 2011 and for much of the 2010, experts debated the possibility of a double-dip recession, in which the economy emerges from a contraction, grows a bit and then retreats back into a downturn.
Lately, the buzzword of choice has been "soft patch," in which the economy is seen as stalling due to temporary factors but still growing and on the road to more robust recovery later in 2011.
Now double dipping is back.
"In addition to the shock value...we need to seriously question whether a double dip is there. I would say it's back on the table," says David Ader, chief Treasury strategist at CRT Capital, CNBC also reports.
The White House insists the country isn't double dipping, but does admit that awful unemployment rates are worrying.
"This is not a double dip," Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Austan Goolsbee tells Reuters Insider.
"This should be a call to action," Goolsbee says, adding "we need to take bipartisan action to help the private sector stand up and start growing, hiring and investing."
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