Just a few quick thoughts ahead of the Labor Day weekend. President Barack Obama plans to unveil a package of measures to stimulate hiring and the economy next week, although we are assured this will absolutely not be a second stimulus. I guess that means it won’t have a major price tag attached, in terms of its effect on the deficit. But you also have to wonder how much effect it will have on the economy, even if Obama manages to get any of it through Congress. BAYER

Some relief, then, that this week’s economic numbers have not been as grim as many had feared. The private sector is not dead and buried, if today’s payrolls report is anything to go by. But don’t expect growth or hiring to pick up nearly fast enough to save the Democrats from pain in November.

Finally, take a look at our special report on the Food and Drug Administration’s efforts to crack down on increasingly aggressive marketing tactics by drug companies. Critics accuse Big Pharma of pushing medicines on people which they often do not need, without fully disclosing the risks. Sadly, even the FDA admits it is outgunned, and lacks the resources to keep pace.

Here are our top stories from today…

Obama says to address new economic ideas next week

President Barack Obama will outline new measures next week to boost the economy after August data showed again that jobs — the central issue in November elections — were being created too slowly. Obama, speaking to reporters in the White House Rose Garden, greeted a better-than-expected August employment report that showed thousands of new private sector jobs were created as “positive news.”

For Alister Bull and Jeff Mason’s full story, click here.

Payrolls data offer ray of hope for recovery

Employment fell for a third straight month in August, but the drop was far less than expected and private hiring surprised on the upside, easing pressure on the Federal Reserve to prop up economic growth. Nonfarm payrolls fell 54,000, the Labor Department said, helping assuage fears of a double-dip recession in financial markets that had looked for a drop of 100,000 jobs.