STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
And Yuki, put these numbers in perspective.
YUKI NOGUCHI: So, you know, this - none of this is actually anything that...
MONTAGNE: Helps it, because they disappear, basically, from...
NOGUCHI: But, you know, none of this is really going to change the macroeconomic picture, really.
MONTAGNE: Well, let's talk about the markets, then. Markets in Asia were down quite a bit this morning, following those big drops in the U.S. markets yesterday. Now, in New York, markets have just opened. What's the latest?
NOGUCHI: Well, it's really mixed. I mean, overnight and then early this morning, you saw a lot of pessimism in the futures. And then they opened fairly big. But now they're basically about unchanged. So if you look at the market performance overall in the last two weeks or so, I mean, the Dow is down, basically, about 10 percent. And what they're responding to, primarily, isn't jobs so much, but Europe. The eurozone is struggling with debt problems that are threatening to sort of burn the house down. And you've got to remember that U.S. banks have a lot of holdings in Europe, so that's a vulnerability.
MONTAGNE: Well, can we talk about other economic indicators? They've not, of course, been encouraging of late. Does this report indicate anything has changed?
NOGUCHI: And so you hear now more talk of sort of going back into recession, the possibility of a double-dip. And that's considered a possibility because, basically, we're just barely in recovery, and we're just not on solid ground. So, you know, it could go negative at any point, is the idea.
MONTAGNE: Yuki, earlier this week, there was another report saying mass layoffs seem to be making a comeback. HSBC, the bank, laid off 30,000 people, like, in one stroke. Borders Books liquidated and announced big layoffs. Is that particular strain contributing to the - problem?
NOGUCHI: I mean, you - some of them are, of course, related to the economy. Goldman Sachs announced some layoffs. And, you know, regardless, having, you know, that kind of, you know, addition to the unemployment roles is not very helpful.
MONTAGNE: Well, one last thing about jobs, generally, in the U.S. Last month, we talked about government losing jobs, and that was a big factor in this report, which also showed very weak job growth.
NOGUCHI: Yeah. I mean, Minnesota shut down. That was a big deal, and that accounted for the bulk of the 37,000 government cuts you saw. And, you know, in general, government sector, not looking good.
MONTAGNE: Yuki, thanks very much.
NOGUCHI: Thank you.
MONTAGNE: NPR business correspondent Yuki Noguchi. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.