Weak Economy Is Week's No. 1 Issue

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In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., last week, Luis Soto (right) and others waited in line at a jobs fair. He's been out of work for 1 1/2 years.

Federal Reserve policymakers gather Tuesday and are expected to talk about whether it's time to start pushing harder to get the economy moving.

The sluggish U.S. economy and how to get it moving faster is again at the top of the news agenda as this week begins.

As Danielle Karson reported for NPR this morning, Federal Reserve policymakers meet tomorrow and they are "expected to discuss whether (to) dust off some of (the Fed's) emergency programs to energize the economy":

According to The Financial Times, some in the financial markets are already guessing what the Fed will do. "European investors are bullish ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s meeting on Tuesday, which is anticipated to introduce some easing measures following last week’s disappointing jobs report," the FT writes.

These stories follow on the heels of Friday's employment report, which showed a weak 71,000-increase in private employment last month and the jobless rate holding steady  at 9.5%.

During the latest recession, which technically began in December 2007, many companies drastically slashed their payrolls. NPR's John Ydstie reported today on Morning Edition that some may have gone too far and will suffer in the long run if the economy picks up and they don't have enough people on hand to respond to an increase in demand or to undertake much needed research and development.

In related news, the House of Representatives comes back for a special session starting today to take up legislation that would prevent the layoffs of more than 100,000 teachers. NPR's Larry Abramson says some school districts around the country are already figuring how how many teachers they'll be able to keep if the $10 billion package is passed (as is expected):

Copyright 2010 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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