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The Latest on Our Sputtering Economy, by the Numbers

As Congress enacts a 10-year package of spending cuts, economists worry that the economy may be weakening and could actually benefit from a brief jolt of short-term spending. Here’s an overview of where the economy stands now.

Updated Aug. 5 with the latest job numbers and other stats. This post has also been corrected.

With increasing signs that the economy is laboring, most economists agree that a short-term infusion of spending, or an extension of this year's temporary cut in Social Security taxes, could help fend off a new downturn. But whatever one thinks of the debt deal -- and most of its billions in cuts won't come for a few years -- there's a near-consensus in Washington against spending increases.

Here's a brief overview of some key stats on where the economy stands.

The economy by your numbers (suggested by our readers on Twitter):

What stats best describe our economy? Tweet at @ProPublica or email Braden. Make sure to include your source.

Correction: This post initially said that there are 4.98 unemployed people per job opening. In fact, there were 4.64 unemployed people per job opening as of May 2011, the most recent month when data about job openings was collected.

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