Economic troubles for Obama: President Obama has good reason to focus on jobs and the economy this week. Fewer than three in 10 Americans approve of the job he is doing dealing with the economy, the federal budget deficit and creating jobs, a Gallup poll released Wednesday found. The 26 percent approval rating on handling the economy is a new low and down 11 percentage points from May. These ratings typify an especially bad two- week stretch for Obama. His overall job approval dipped to a new low at 39 percent on Monday in Gallup’s tracking data. One in three Americans has confidence in Obama’s ability to “make the right decisions about the country’s economic future” in a Washington Post poll last week.  

Obama and New Jersey, perfect together?: In this reliably blue state, Obama’s approval rating has dipped to 44 percent among registered voters, a new low point in polling in the state from Quinnipiac University. By a narrow 49 to 45 percent, slightly more say Obama does not deserve to be reelected. But he does top out by 45 to 37 percent when asked to choose against a generic Republican challenger.    

Women value college more than men: Half of female college graduates rate the value offered by a college degree as excellent or good. That slips to 37 percent for male college graduates, according to a study by the Pew Research Center. Beyond the monetary value of a degree, more women than men say their college experience “helped them to grow both personally and intellectually.”

 Consumer confidence: Expectations about the economy’s direction sank to their lowest level since March 2009 in Bloomberg’s Consumer Comfort Index. Weekly ratings of current conditions – taking into account the state of the economy, personal finances and the buying climate – remain near all time lows at -48 on the scale of -100 to +100.

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