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New Unemployment Claims Drop Slightly

The latest weekly installment of the jobless report from the Labor Department, via the Associated Press:

New claims for unemployment benefits drop slightly

By Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

April 1, 2010

WASHINGTON – Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell slightly last week as the recovering economy moves closer to generating more jobs.

The Labor Department said Thursday that new jobless benefit claims dropped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 439,000, nearly matching analysts’ estimates. It’s the fourth drop in five weeks.

The four-week average of claims, which smooths [sic] volatility, fell by nearly 7,000 to 447,250, the lowest total since the week of Sept. 13, 2008, just before Lehman Brothers collapsed and the financial crisis intensified.

The report adds to evidence that the job market is slowly healing as the economy improves. Gross domestic product grew by 5.6 percent in last year’s fourth quarter, the fastest pace in six years. But economists forecast growth will slow to about half that in the current January-to-March quarter.

Many economists expect jobless claims will continue to drop and will soon fall below 425,000, a level that is likely to signal sustained job creation.

The report comes a day before the Labor Department is scheduled to release the March employment report. Economists expect it will show the economy generated 190,000 jobs last month, the most in three years and only the second gain since the recession began.

Many of those job gains will be a result of temporary government hiring to conduct the 2010 Census. Some will also represent delayed hiring from February, when massive snowstorms hit the East Coast and closed many businesses. Still, economists expect that employers are adding jobs even excluding those factors.

Analysts also forecast that the unemployment rate will remain 9.7 percent for the third straight month, according to Thomson Reuters

What is this? An Associated Press story about unemployment numbers that does not used the word ‘unexpected’? Is this an April Fool’s joke?

Of course these rosy numbers might also reflect the Labor Department’s brand new way of counting the unemployed, which they just started last week.

Still, note that according to the AP “many economists expect jobless claims will continue to drop and will soon fall below 425,000, a level that is likely to signal sustained job creation.” 

And yet the AP says that these same “analysts also forecast that the unemployment rate will remain 9.7 percent for the third straight month”? How is that possible?

As is so often the case with these stories about the economy from our watchdog media, this just doesn’t add up.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, April 1st, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “New Unemployment Claims Drop Slightly”

  1. AcornsRNutz says:

    “Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell slightly last week as the recovering economy moves closer to generating more jobs.”

    Interesting. I thought the recession was over and has ended four or five times already. IF that were so how is it that the “recovering” economy is “moving closer” to putting people back to work? How is it “moving closer” if the WON already created millions of jobs?

  2. mr_bill says:

    This is the first time I haven’t seen an “unexpectedly” in the reporting of initial claims since Nerobama took office. Also, its the first report since the seasonal adjustment factors were…umm…adjusted. Under the previous method, I think the real number would be about 8,000 jobs lost wouldn’t it, but maybe I’m just being cynical by not believing what the government is telling me.

  3. proreason says:

    What a triumph.

    After applying the usual government statistical gymnastics, only 439,000 people lost their jobs.

    Yet, some say the boy King isn’t the greatest hero who has ever lived
    .

  4. JohnMG says:

    …..”Is this an April Fool’s joke?…..”

    The AP is an April Fool’s joke! No joke.


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