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AP: New Jobless Claims At Three Month High

From a perhaps tired of spinning Associated Press:

US unemployment aid requests near 3-month high

By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER
April 26, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits remained stuck near a three-month high last week, a sign that hiring has likely slowed since winter.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications dipped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000. It was little changed from the previous week’s figure, the highest since Jan. 7.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose to 381,750, also the highest in three months.

In actual fact, the number only "dipped" because last week’s number was revised up by 3,000.

Applications jumped sharply three weeks ago, a sign that employers had stepped up layoffs and added fewer jobs. Economists said the increase might have been inflated by temporary layoffs during the spring holidays, when many school employees are laid off

What a laugh. Everybody knows somebody who gets laid off because it is Easter. Don’t they?

But applications haven’t dropped back since then. The increase follows a report earlier this month that showed hiring slowed in March.

Many economists suggested that weather might have distorted the March jobs report. A warmer winter likely pulled some hiring that normally would have occurred last month into January and February. They have noted that the economy has added an average of 212,000 jobs a month in the January-March quarter, well ahead of last year’s pace.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke agreed Wednesday that weather has likely disrupted recent data. The warm winter "made perhaps January and February artificially strong and March perhaps artificially a little bit weak," he said at a news conference. "I wouldn’t draw too much conclusion from the March report." …

It’s really a shame that the Labor Department doesn’t do seasonal adjustments to try to account for such things.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, April 26th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “AP: New Jobless Claims At Three Month High”

  1. dasher says:

    Steve & others – Playing on the theory that there is no such thing as a “dumb” question, am I to conclude from these excellent articles about the unemployment statistics that 388,000 people lost their jobs last week? I mean, does this number represent NEW applications for unemployment and not CONTINUING claims? (Let me clarify, I don’t derive any pleasure from folks losing their jobs, but I do like how S&L expose the slant on the reporting of these “stats”.)

    I LOVE the way you track these bits of the news, in fact, this might be my “favorite” part of S&L, since to me, the national unemployment rate really is a measure of how the economy is doing. I mean, there are lots of other things to argue about but something as firm and concrete as the unemployment rate (however many times it gets adjusted and seasonally adjusted) is a fairly steady number.

    Thanks for shedding any light on my question and keep up the great work, I love reading S&L.

    Dan
    Atlanta,GA

    • Steve says:

      “Am I to conclude from these excellent articles about the unemployment statistics that 388,000 people lost their jobs last week?”

      Yes, that is what happened. Even after the number has been “seasonally adjusted.”

      And you make an excellent point. The news media seem to go out of their way to avoid ever mentioning this plain and simple fact.

  2. AcornsRNutz says:

    So, once again I go leave the specifics to the good work done by S&L and instead ask a broader question outside of the premise of the argument here. What the hell is this seasonal adjusting crap? How can actual numbers change due to the seasons? I could understand to an extent the percentages changing via the seasons (IE more overall jobs available in summer than winter, or near major consumer holidays etc) but teh actual number of claims? Lets see…I have 3 apples in April. Am I to assume that if I had the same number of apples in my basket in July I would have 4? I don’t get it.

  3. hokeymcdokey says:

    You forgot the magic word:

    UNexpectedly!!!


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