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AP: 368K New Jobless Claims = Moderate Hiring

From a shameless Associated Press:

Weekly US jobless aid applications rise to 368K

By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER | January 31, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose sharply last week but remained at a level consistent with moderate hiring.

You see? A sharp rise in unemployment applications is "consistent with moderate hiring."

Weekly applications for unemployment benefits leapt 38,000 to a seasonally adjusted 368,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The increase comes after applications plummeted in the previous two weeks to five-year lows. Applications fell by a combined 45,000 in the second and third weeks of January.

Why are they stressing the last two weeks’ reports so much? And a ‘record drop’ that some business analysts say is not even true, anyway.

The volatility reflects the government’s difficulty adjusting the data to account for layoffs after the holiday shopping season. Job cuts typically spike in the second week in January as retailers dismiss temporary employees hired for the winter holidays. Layoffs then fall in the second half of the month…

And even though this happens each and every year the Labor Department is still caught off guard.

Most economists weren’t concerned by the increase…

Naturally. Just like most economists weren’t concerned about the GDP contracting in the last quarter.

On Friday, the government is scheduled to issue its January jobs report. Analysts forecast that it will show employers added 155,000 jobs, the same as in December. The unemployment rate is expected to remain at 7.8 percent for the third straight month.

And these analysts are never wrong. Still, if we had two prior weeks of record low unemployment claims, how come the unemployment rate isn’t expected to go down?

The number of people continuing to claim benefits also rose. More than 5.9 million people received benefits in the week ended Jan. 12, the latest data available. That’s 250,000 more than the previous week…

Which must be another sign of "moderate hiring."

The government said Wednesday that the economy shrank at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the October-December quarter, hurt by a sharp cut in defense spending, fewer exports and sluggish growth in company stockpiles.

The contraction points to what is likely to be the biggest headwind for the economy this year: sharp government spending cuts and ongoing budget fights.

This is now on its way to becoming a news media ‘fact.’

The economy will likely expand in the current quarter and is forecast to grow around 2 percent this year as strength in areas like housing and auto sales could partly offset government cutbacks. But looming, across-the-board spending cuts, set to take effect March 1, would weaken a still-precarious recovery…

Gosh, all of these spending cuts are going to destroy the economy.

By the way, notice that the AP still calls a negative GDP a ‘recovery.’ Under a President Bush one quarter of negative GDP was the start of a recession.

For the record, there have not been any revision to the prior week’s new claims number for two weeks in a row. Which is quite a record for Obama administration. (That number has now been revised up for 96 of the past 100 weeks, and down for only 3.)

The elections must really be over.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, January 31st, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “AP: 368K New Jobless Claims = Moderate Hiring”

  1. captstubby

    Why Today’s GDP Report Isn’t As Bad As It Looks
    By Christopher MatthewsJan. 30, 201311

    The American public (or at least those of us who keep up on the latest macroeconomic data) awoke to some startling news this morning: According to initial estimates from the Commerce Department the American economy actually shrank in the fourth quarter of 2012. Yes, you read that right — not the sluggish growth we’ve been used to since the end of the 2008-2009 recession, but an honest-to-goodness contraction of 0.1%. Predictably, political pundits on the right had a field day – can you blame them? — using the data as evidence of the failure of the “Obama economy.” On Wall Street however, the markets have more or less been shrugging off the news, with the Dow down a slight 0.07% in morning trading. So what’s the deal?
    In short, if you take a deeper look into the report, it’s not as bad as the headline number suggests.In addition, estimates on GDP growth from the Commerce Department are just that — estimates, and they can often be pretty far off, especially if other indicators in the economy don’t validate their claims. As economist and Brookings Institute Senior Fellow Justin Wolfers described in a note to the press:
    Overall, there’s nothing in today’s GDP report to change my view: The US economy was doing OK — maybe even pretty well — but definitely not great in the final quarter of 2012. While this morning’s negative growth number is an attention grabber, realize it’s for last quarter, it’s an early guess, and it’s contradicted by most other data which point to an economy that is still growing, although perhaps not fast enough.
    Wolfers ended with a sarcastic trivia question: “When is the last time that the first big hint of bad economic news came from an advance GDP report? Answer: Never.” In other words, GDP reports are great for figuring out what went wrong with an economy looking backwards, but they aren’t good at predicting recessions. If we were in a recession, we’d know it, and not because of a report from the government.
    In other words, if you’re so inclined to blame a political figure or party for our lame economy, go right ahead. We still have a lame economy. But at least it’s not one that’s headed for recession in the near term.

    What was it the Democrats were telling us a short time ago?

    “Private sector doing fine.”

    “Its Bush’s Fault!”

  2. Astravogel

    “AP” is that Pravda for Americans?

  3. mr_bill

    When they can no longer deny we are in the double-dip recession, they’ll all claim there was never any indication the economy was headed for the crapper. I think they’re just fudging the numbers so they can blame the sequester for the entire state of the economy, once the media finally get the White House memo to acknowledge the recession. Then it will be time to use that crisis for all it’s worth…more stimulus, more taxes redistribute to “the poor,” gun seizure, martial law, who knows what they’ll try to get away with. I predict civil war by December.

  4. captstubby

    Obama’s jobs council shutting down Thursday

    Published January 31, 2013

    | FoxNews.com

    WASHINGTON – As new weekly jobs numbers emerged Thursday showing a jump in unemployment claims and a report released the previous day showed the economy shrinking in late 2012, President Obama is effectively laying off his jobs council.
    The layoff — which comes in the form of the administration not renewing the council, which sunsets Thursday — takes off the table a first-term panel set up to field ideas from the business community for spurring growth. But the administration was accused all along of never taking full advantage of the group at a time when the economy desperately needed those ideas.
    The council itself, a group of business and labor leaders, hasn’t met officially in more than a year. The group was tasked with making recommendations to Obama to help create jobs, but the 26 members only met four times in two years.
    As the council expires Thursday with no plans to extend it, House Speaker John Boehner’s office panned the president’s alleged disinterest in the group.
    “To understand the abysmal nature of our economic recovery, look no further than the president’s disinterest in learning lessons from actual job creators,” spokesman Brendan Buck said. “Whether ignoring the group or rejecting its recommendations, the president treated his Jobs Council as more of a nuisance than a vehicle to spur job creation.”
    The White House, though, says that the president took “action” on 33 of the council’s 35 recommendations in the first year and implemented 16 of them.
    “Some of the implemented recommendations include proposing new tax rules that encourage businesses to invest and create jobs in the United States instead of overseas, expediting job-creating infrastructure projects across the country, eliminating inefficient and burdensome federal regulations, and streamlining government,” the White House website says.
    Now as it comes to an end, administration officials say Obama has met with dozens of CEOs since the election — separate from the jobs council — and doesn’t feel compelled to work only through that panel.
    But Republicans say the president is putting the economy on the back-burner.
    “Instead of taking real action, like renewing his Jobs Council or approving the Keystone Pipeline, President Obama has moved on to his second-term liberal agenda,” the National Republican Congressional Committee said in a statement. “But with 12 million Americans unemployed and a national debt over $16 trillion, shouldn’t President Obama keep his eye on the ball and work to find real solutions to create jobs and tackle our out-of-control spending?”
    When Obama in January 2011 formed his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, unemployment was hovering above 9 percent. Two years later, more than 12 million people in the U.S. are out of work. The unemployment rate has fallen to 7.8 percent, but both parties agree that’s still too high.
    Officials said the president always intended for the council to fulfill its mission and then wind down, and said Obama would continue to actively engage and seek input from business leaders about ways to accelerate job-creation and economic growth. Among the steps Obama plans to pursue are expedited permits for infrastructure projects, plus programs to boost entrepreneurship and workforce development.
    Adding to the concern about the job market’s continued vulnerability, the Commerce Department said Wednesday that the U.S. economy shrank at an annual rate of 0.1 percent from October through December of last year, the first quarterly drop since 2009. The Federal Reserve said the economy appears to have “paused in recent months.”
    The jobs council was a successor to another economic advisory board Obama created at the onset of his presidency. The panel was chaired by General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt and was composed of prominent business leaders and economists. Immelt said Thursday that progress has been made on implementing 90 percent of the council’s recommendations.
    The jobs council’s main work product report was released in January 2012, titled “Roadmap to Renewal.” The council also organized a series of “listening and action” meetings across the country last year with business owners, local elected officials and academics, although Obama didn’t attend those sessions.
    Critics have argued that the council’s primary purpose was to create the appearance of action at a time when the nation was pining for something — anything — to rein in soaring joblessness. The administration acted on many of the council’s recommendations, including suggestions to streamline the permits process and small business loans, increase tourist visas and boost energy efficiency.
    But the White House was at odds with several council members on tax policies, particularly a proposal to exclude overseas corporate earnings from U.S. taxes. That idea divided even the jobs council, whose membership included labor and Obama’s political allies.
    The council’s dissolution also comes as White House aides are optimistic about the prospects for a second-term detente with the business community, which bristled during Obama’s first term at his harsh depiction of “fat-cat bankers” and his efforts to impose regulations, tax policies and spending initiatives they argued were unfriendly to business. Obama aides hope the softening of the relationship between the president and the business world can benefit the White House in future fiscal debates with Republicans.

    And after all their hard work, this is the thanks…




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