A tax credit to spur hiring can help trim unemployment, say experts, but comes with a heavy price tag. The revenue loss for a 1977 scheme was $5.7 billion.
Consumer spending increased 1.3 percent in August, but a key reason was the 'cash for clunkers' program. Also, initial claims for unemployment rose last week, but the four-week average for claims fell slightly.
Overall sales plummeted with the end of 'cash for clunkers.' Ford has taken a hit too, but it's still doing better than Toyota, Honda, or Nissan.
A number of positive trends support the Federal Reserve chief's statement that the recession has "very likely" ended.
President Obama delivers a major economic speech Monday to assess progress in the year since Lehman Brothers' collapse ignited a financial crisis.