Good morning and Happy Friday, Lehigh Valley! There are 24 days remaining in 2012, so get on those resolutions if you haven't already!
The U.S. Government announced today that 146,000 jobs were added in November and the unemployment rate dropped to 7.7%, the lowest since December 2008. Economists were surprised that Hurricane Sandy did not affect hiring as negatively as anticipated.
House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama continue to work on the fiscal cliff negotiations, and this time they are going into the negotiating room alone, increasing the chances of finding a suitable deal quickly. President Obama has stated that any deal on must ensure that there will not be another crisis over the debt ceiling early next year.
A medical device tax that was adopted as part of the 2010 health care reform will take effect at the end of the month, which will cut into the profit margins of multiple Lehigh Valley companies that make medical devices. The tax applies primarily to devices that are used by medical professionals and will not affect those sold over the counter directly to the consumer.
The Christmas season is in full swing in Bethlehem to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of being named "The Christmas City." On the North Side, Christmas City Village has been up for a few weekends now and Christkindlmarkt is underway on the SouthSide.