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Jobless Claims Down (But Probably Really Up)

From a tight lipped Associated Press:

Claims for unemployment aid dip but remain high

October 27, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking unemployment benefits dipped slightly last week, though not by enough to suggest that hiring is picking up.

Weekly applications for unemployment benefits declined 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 402,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That’s the fourth drop in six weeks

For the record, the prior week’s number was revised up.

Despite the recent declines, applications are stuck above 400,000, where they have been for all but two weeks since March

It’s hard to see how the AP can talk about "recent declines," when the new claims number has been stuck at a few thousand above 400,000 for seven months now.

Also Thursday, the government said the economy grew modestly over the summer after nearly stalling in the first six months of the year. Growth in the July-September quarter was lifted by stronger consumer spending and business investment.

The economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.5 percent. That’s nearly double the 1.3 percent growth in the April-June quarter. And it’s a vast improvement over the 0.9 percent growth for the entire first half of the year.

Still, while 2.5 percent growth is enough to ease recession fears, it’s far below what’s needed to lower painfully high unemployment…

As we have noted before, under the Bush administration a GDP of 3.3% was seen by the New York Times as "pointing to a recession." Moreover, if things continue the way they have been going, this very modest 2.5% GDP number will probably be revised down.

The rate has been stuck at 9.1 percent for three straight months. Analysts project similar growth for the October-December quarter.

The economy would need to expand by about 4.5 percent for a year to reduce the unemployment rate by a full percentage point. The rate has been near 9 percent for more than 2½ years, the longest such stretch since the Great Depression

Which is pretty amazing, since we have been enjoying Obama’s ‘Summer Of Recovery’ since July 2009.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, October 27th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

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