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New Jobless Claims Drop, But Remain High

A somewhat less sunny than usual assessment from the Associated Press:

Unemployment applications drop, but remain high

By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer
June 16, 2011

WASHINGTON – Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, though applications remain above levels consistent with a healthy economy.

Unemployment benefit applications fell 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 414,000, the second drop in three weeks, the Labor Department said Thursday. That’s a positive sign that layoffs are slowing.

Still, applications have been above 400,000 for 10 straight weeks, evidence that the job market is weak compared to earlier this year.

Applications had fallen in February to 375,000, a level that signals sustainable job growth. They stayed below 400,000 for seven of nine weeks. But applications surged in April to 478,000 — an eight-month high — and they have declined slowly since then.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, was unchanged.

Economists said the report signals that the job market is improving, but at a very slow pace.

Separately, builders broke ground on more new homes in May, but not enough to signal a recovery in the housing market. New-home construction rose 3.5 percent from April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 560,000 units per year, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

And not to be excessively cynical, but don’t housing starts tend to rise in May, if only because of the improved weather?

Economists say the pace of construction is far below the 1.2 million new homes per year that must be built to sustain a healthy housing market.

Ya think?

The elevated level of applications suggests that companies pulled back on hiring in the face of higher gas and food prices, which have cut into consumer spending. Hiring has slowed sharply since applications rose

Imagine, employers being affected by inflation.

The economy needs to generate at least 125,000 jobs per month just to keep up with population growth. At least twice that many are needed to bring down the unemployment rate.

But economists forecast the nation will add only about 1.9 million jobs this year, according to an Associated Press Economy survey earlier this week. That’s only about 150,000 per month and is lower than a previous estimate two months ago.

Luckily, their economists are always wrong. So there is still hope. Meanwhile, the Reuters report on the new jobless numbers claims: ‘Data points to some improvement in economy.’

Sure it does.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, June 16th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “New Jobless Claims Drop, But Remain High”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    “The economy needs to generate at least 125,000 jobs per month just to keep up with population growth. At least twice that many are needed to bring down the unemployment rate.”
    Well…isn’t that coinky dinky. That’s just about the same amount that crosses our
    porous Southern Border each month. Keep twisting the numbers.
    We are not amused!!

  2. Warren says:

    The DROP is because of Obama’s policies. The REMAIN HIGH is because olf what Bush did. Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure!

  3. P. Aaron says:

    Was this ‘less than expected’, ‘unexpectedly’ and, did this surprise the ‘experts’?

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Frau Wasserman Shultz isn’t surprised at all. Recently after clearing the tables at a local Ale Haus, she was heard saying that they own the economy (dems). Then did a double shot of peppermint schnapps before calling it a day.

  4. rodguy911 says:

    Uhhhhh… lets see when you spend almost 3 trillion buying votes and not giving any to small business is anyone here shocked that the economy is basically flat. Unemployment is far higher that the jury rigged stats they use and our homes are mostly worthless.Other than that the regime has done really well.


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