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AP: Jobless Up More Than Expected

From the perpetually caught off-guard Associated Press:

New jobless claims rise more than expected

By Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON – The number of newly laid-off workers filing first-time claims for jobless benefits rose last week, the government said, though the increase was mostly due to seasonal distortions.

Many economists say new claims, which track layoffs and firings, are trending downward in a modest sign of improvement in the labor market.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the initial claims for unemployment aid rose by 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 584,000, above analysts’ estimates. But the figure is below the 617,000 new claims filed in late June, before the numbers began to be distorted by a shift in the timing of temporary auto shutdowns.

The four-week average of claims, which smooths out fluctuations, fell to 559,000, its lowest level since late January. And the number of people remaining on the jobless benefit rolls unexpectedly fell to 6.2 million from 6.25 million, the lowest level since mid-April.

"The latest report is actually reasonably good news," Abiel Reinhart, an economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co., wrote in a client note. "Obviously, claims are still high … but things appear to be gradually improving."

Stocks surged in morning trading as investors welcomed both the new data on jobless claims and better-than-expected earnings. The Dow Jones industrial average rose about 170 points, or 1.9 percent, and broader stock averages also jumped.

Still, jobs remain scarce and the unemployment rate, which hit 9.5 percent for June, is expected to surpass 10 percent by year’s end.

Weekly claims remain far above the 300,000 to 350,000 that analysts say is consistent with a healthy economy. New claims last fell below 300,000 in early 2007. The lowest level this year was 488,000 for the week ended Jan. 3.

The increase in initial claims last week was mostly due to seasonal distortions, stemming from a move by auto companies to shut their plants earlier than usual this year. Car makers normally close their factories in early July and temporarily lay off thousands of workers as they retool plants to build new car models.

This year, those shutdowns happened in May and June as General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC closed plants after filing for bankruptcy protection. That shift in timing caused new claims to fall sharply in the first two weeks of July.

Claims have now rebounded from that artificial decline, a Labor Department analyst said, and next week’s numbers aren’t expected to be affected.

The recession, which began in December 2007 and is the longest since World War II, has eliminated a net total of 6.5 million jobs. The unemployment rate is expected to rise to 9.7 percent when the July figure is reported next week.

More job cuts were announced this week. Verizon Communications Inc. said Monday that it would cut more than 8,000 employee and contractor jobs before the end of the year.

Among the states, California had the biggest increase in claims, with 4,290, which it attributed to increased layoffs in the construction and trade industries. Michigan, Florida, Connecticut and Indiana had the next-largest increases. State data lags behind initial claims data by one week.

New York had the largest drop in claims, with 22,052, which it said was due to fewer layoffs in the service and transportation industries. Wisconsin, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Ohio had the next largest declines.

It’s weird, but it’s almost as if we have heard the phase “new jobless claims rise more than expected” before:

(Click to enlarge.)

Like, 898,000 times before.

In fact, one might even say it is a trend – at least Google Trend thinks so:

(Click to enlarge.)

Note that the bottom box represents “news references.”

And note how the surprise factor has shot up since January 2009.

Why is that?

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, July 30th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

14 Responses to “AP: Jobless Up More Than Expected”

  1. proreason says:

    Damned bushhitler.

    He will be ruining our country long after he’s dead.

  2. Liberals Demise says:

    But, but ….. barry said that we are at the bottom and we are headed back to a recovery. He wouldn’t lie to us would he?
    Did he?

    btw…….. my benefits run out next week with no chance of an extension!
    Thanks for the shovel ready jobs, dinglebarry!!

    • jobeth says:

      LD…You don’t understand…I distinctly remember him saying it will be a “jobless” recovery. So everything is going to be just fine! See? Its all OK now. (sarc)

      I really do think he thinks the American people are stupid. I pray this is all beginning to crumble and he falls hard!

  3. MinnesotaRush says:

    Somebody make sure Gibbs and Biden get the info! They’ll be shocked (like a deer in the headlites).

  4. David says:

    How about 384,000 Google hits for the exact phrase…

    “The recession, which began in December 2007”

    At what stage does it change from propaganda to brainwashing?

  5. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    How about this piece of instant revisionism:

    “though the increase was mostly due to seasonal distortions

    “rose by 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 584,000, above analysts’ estimates”

    Which is it? They go on again to blame ‘seasonal distortions’:

    “The increase in initial claims last week was mostly due to seasonal distortions

    So if the numbers have been seasonally adjusted, how is the increase due to seasonal distortions?

    What a bunch of moonbats.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      They suffer from Grandiose Illusions, Banned!!

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      And some vital stats:


      Note: 31 are above 8%, 20 are above 9%, 16 are above 10%, 7 are above 11%, 4 are above 12 and one is above 15%.

      Well beyond half the nation’s states are above the Obama-proclaimed “max” that UE would rise to. (Biden: “we simply mis-read it)

      Obama has never learned the trick about predicting results. Most adults have learned not to say things like that, when (ahem) all the facts aren’t in yet.

      Most telling are the states above 9%….almost half the nation.

      Meanwhile, the “get-a-clue” crew, Pelosi, Reid, etc….still say that jobs are being created or “saved”. How do you stat a “saved” job? I really don’t have a formula for that.

      Where are the stats for the number of green jobs produced? Are there any? I think not.

      I have no expertise in any of these areas but boy, don’t piss on my boots and tell me it’s rainin’.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      And more depressing news: http://www.examiner.com/x-3773-Portland-Unemployment-Examiner~y2009m7d28-Unemployment-rate-including-discouraged-and-underemployed-workers-now-at-165-nationally

      If I can find this stuff with a quick Google search, so can at least HALF of the US. However, those in the government have a different search engine which only gives links to fairy-pooftah-imagining websites.

  6. Gladius et Scutum says:

    Pelosi was right! 500 million Americans are losing their jobs every month since we didn’t pass the FIRST stimulus bill! Uh, oops, I might have a detail or two wrong there. (If anyone feels I need to add a parenthetical “dripping sarcasm” to such posts, kindly so note)

  7. Right of the People says:

    Hey Liberals, reality sucks doesn’t it?

    Pie in sky, starry-eyed retards. Everything the Won has said is 180 degrees out of phase with reality and these morons are just catching on. Black is white, up is down, Pelosi is attractive, ugh! Sure glad by passing the Porkulus bill it kept unemployment under 8%. Oops, see above.

    Liberalism rots the brain!

    End of Rant. I feel much better, now where is that bottle of Wild Turkey?

  8. 1laidbackRN says:

    Sorry for the double post.

  9. 1laidbackRN says:

    And yet once again the question must be asked, What happened to the 4.5 million jobs that the stimulus was supposed to create?

    • Liberals Demise says:

      I believe the governors of Obamas’ 57 states are getting together to hammer this out.
      “Please stand by ………..”

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