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AP: New Jobless Claims ‘Plunge’ Again

From those stalwart cheerleaders at the Associated Press:

Fewest requests for unemployment aid since 2008

By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer
February 10, 2011

WASHINGTON – The number of people applying for unemployment benefits plunged last week to the lowest level in nearly three years, boosting hopes that companies will step up hiring this year as the economy strengthens.

Applications sank by a seasonally adjusted 36,000 to 383,000, the lowest point since early July 2008, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

We are still trying to figure out what is meant by "seasonally adjusted" since these figures do not take into account the weather or annual holidays.

By the way, last week’s number of new unemployment claims was revised up by 4,000. Just as it so often is under the current administration.

Unemployment applications reflect the level of layoffs, but also can indicate whether companies are willing to hire.

Applications are well below their peak of 651,000, reached in March 2009, when the economy was deep in recession. Applications below 425,000 tend to signal modest job growth. But they would need to dip consistently to 375,000 or below to indicate a significant and steady decline in the unemployment rate

So even though new jobless claims continue to "plunge" week after week, don’t expect the unemployment rate to go down — or think that any new jobs have been created.

Last week’s sharp decline continues a downward trend that took shape late last year. The last time applications fell below 400,000 was near the end of December.

Close to 14 million people are out of work. That’s about twice as much as in December 2007, when the recession began. Competition for jobs remains fierce

Even though the recession has been over for 19 months.

Roughly 4.6 million people received aid under the extended benefit programs for the week ending Jan. 22, the latest data available. Those programs provide up to 99 weeks of aid in the states with the highest unemployment rates.

Overall 9.4 million people are receiving unemployment aid. That’s up slightly from 9.3 million in the previous week.

So more people are on unemployment this week than last? That is pretty amazing in view of all of the "plunging" we have been hearing about.

Note, too, that the AP managed to save this minor detail for the final paragraph of their article.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, February 10th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “AP: New Jobless Claims ‘Plunge’ Again”

  1. River0 says:

    Just think, as more and more people give up and fall off the unemployment rolls, we’ll soon have zero unemployment! Fantastic. The ‘New Normal’. Then the government can work out some deal with drug companies to provide something the invisible unemployed can take that will keep them calm and happy. Hmmm. Reminds me of a book I once read by a guy named Aldous Huxley.

  2. TerryAnne says:

    Overall 9.4 million people are receiving unemployment aid.

    And we’re told 9.4% is the unemployment percentage.

    Hmmmm. Funny that.

  3. bill says:

    Full employment with no one working

    Sounds like the old Soviet Union, where how can you work, you need to stand in line all day just to try and get food.

    • River0 says:

      I heard a Soviet worker say just before the USSR collapsed, “We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us.”

      The best argument the Commies have for their tyranny is also something I heard at a gathering: “We pay for their birth, education, job training, health care, food, and housing. They can’t leave. We own them.”

      It’s so very simple. If you want security you can’t have freedom, in the real world.

    • proreason says:

      “Full employment with no one working ”

      don’t laugh.

      Not sure if it’s been mentioned on S&L yet, but Rush had a caller the other who pointed out that so many baby boomers are retiring (i.e., can no longer find work) that the unemployment rate could hit 8% by 2012 even if the country doesn’t have a single new job. I’m not sure about the next detail, but I think people reaching working age don’t get counted in the stats until their first job. So people exiting at the older end and not entering at the young end spells magic for Obamy. And if that’s not what happens now with younger workers, you can bet that it will change soon.

  4. hagbard says:

    Seriously?? wtf??
    There is so much wrong with this nonsensical rant, it is hard to know where to start. Still, I’ll give it a try:

    First, the author claims ignorance as to what “seasonally adjusted” means. Far be it from her to do, y’know, a bit of research?

    Here is a page that describes the mechanics of seasonal adjustment:

    Here is a good explanation of why it makes sense to use seasonal adjusted numbers:

    Next, the author makes the laughable claim that jobless claims are “always” revised upwards. Again, a quick and easy search turns up many examples of when it is the opposite:
    There are many more of these…but you get the picture.

    And then there’s this:
    “So more people are on unemployment this week than last? That is pretty amazing in view of all of the “plunging” we have been hearing about.”
    This is not unlike the perennial winter exclamations by right-wingers of “It’s cold today, so global warming is a hoax!”

    • Right of the People says:

      Global warming IS a hoax. What does that have to do with unemployment?

    • Liberals Demise says:

      This is not unlike the perennial winter exclamations by right-wingers of “It’s cold today, so global warming is a hoax!”

      You made some sense until this last sentence. Then you went
      and became a “drive-by”.

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