POLITICS: PennAve

The week ahead in economics: Marco Rubio speaks, job openings survey and Jack Lew testifies

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Jobs,Marco Rubio,Labor,PennAve,Joseph Lawler,Economy,Jack Lew

After a big week for economic policy that began with the president unveiling his budget proposal and ended with a better-than-expected jobs report, this week will be a little slower. But there's still plenty happening.

On Monday, Sen. Marco Rubio, the freshman from Florida and one of the GOP's up-and-coming political talents, will give a speech hosted by Google and the Jack Kemp Foundation laying out his vision for improving the U.S. economy. He will blame the country's moribund economy on "our tax laws, our regulatory structure and our national debt," according to the Wall Street Journal, and offer policy solutions.

On Tuesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will report on the pace of hiring and firing in the U.S. with its release of the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for January. Labor market churn remains severely depressed, even as the unemployment rate has fallen significantly. There were an estimated 3.9 million job openings on the last day of December, setting up the possibility that the number could cross the 4 million line in January.

On Wednesday afternoon, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will testify before the House Budget Committee, chaired by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, about the president's budget. Lew and Ryan will likely have some interesting exchanges.

On Thursday, the Commerce Department will report on retail sales for February. Sales fell in the previous two months, raising the possibility that either harsh winter weather has temporarily held back consumer spending or the recovery is once again weakening.

And on Thursday afternoon, the American Enterprise Institute will host a talk with Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates about poverty, which will include a discussion about Gates' prediction that almost no countries will still be poor by the year 2035.

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