Areas of concern
Parts of America may already be facing recession
Slowdowns in housing construction and manufacturing are ominous
It can be hard to know when isolated announcements become something more. Since last November General Motors has cut several thousand factory jobs at plants across the Midwest. In early August us Steel said it would lay off 200 workers in Michigan. Sales of camper vans dropped by 23% in the 12 months ending in July, threatening the livelihoods of thousands of workers in Indiana, where many are made. Factory workers are not the only ones on edge. Lowes, a retailer, recently said it would slash thousands of jobs. Halliburton, an oil-services firm, is cutting too.
In any given month, even at the height of a boom, more than 5m Americans leave a job; nearly 2m are laid off. Most of the time, however, overall employment grows. But not all the time. America may or may not be lurching towards a recession now. For the time being employment and output continue to grow. But
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