Here & there, the U.S. economic skies cleared a bit last week. The stock market climbed again; the U.S. auto industry broke all previous records by rolling out 148,277 cars and trucks, the biggest week in its history. But the recession's storm clouds still scudded threateningly over the horizon.

In almost half of the nation's 98 biggest production centers, unemployment had already mounted to 7% or more of the local population. "In some cases it has become an acute problem," reported Employment Security Director Robert C. Goodwin. "The labor market has fluctuated since last November . . . largely [toward] higher...

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