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‘Real Life’ New Jobless Claims Are Up By 23,138

From a never tiring Associated Press:

Weekly US unemployment claims fall to 340,000

By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER | March 7, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell to a seasonally adjusted 340,000 last week, driving down the four-week average to its lowest level in five years. The drop is a positive sign ahead of Friday’s report on February job growth.

Applications for benefits fell 7,000 in the week ended March 2, the Labor Department said Thursday. That’s near five-year lows reached in January. And the four-week average, a less volatile measure, dropped to 348,750. That’s the lowest since March 2008, just a few months into the Great Recession…

For some reason none of the news media is reporting that this decrease of 7,000 is wiped out by the increase of 7,000 claims in last week’s claims number. Which means the the jobless claims did not change at all from last week. (For the record, last week revision means that the number has now been revised up for 101 of the past 105 weeks.)

Neither are they reporting that, according to the Department of Labor, the real life, unadjusted new claims increased by 23,198 over the previous week. Which means that, in fact, the real life number of people seeking unemployment actually skyrocketed.

The decline adds to other evidence that hiring may have been better last month than economists forecast. Analysts predict that employers added 152,000 jobs, according to a survey by FactSet. That’s about the same as in January. The unemployment rate is projected to fall to 7.8 percent from 7.9 percent.

"The improvement is still gradual, but at least things are moving in the right direction," Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients…

However, ten paragraphs into the article, we are told this:

The number of people receiving unemployment aid fell to 5.4 million in the week ended Feb. 16, the latest data available. That’s a drop of 362,000 from the previous week. Some of the decline is likely because people found work. But it is also because many have simply used up all the benefits available…

Which is going to be happening as more and more as people run out of benefits, even though they have just been extended yet again.]

Companies are laying off fewer workers despite concerns about the impact of higher taxes and government spending cuts. Social Security taxes rose two percentage points Jan. 1, reducing the typical household’s income by $1,000.

You see, a $600 billion tax increase on the rich and over ten years and $150 billion increase in the payroll tax didn’t hurt hiring.

And $85 billion in across-the-board government spending cuts kicked in March 1 after the White House and Congress failed to reach a deal to avoid the reductions.

The cuts could slow economic growth and cost 700,000 jobs, according to the Congressional Budget Office. They could also reduce unemployment benefit checks for those out of work for more than six months by about 11 percent, according to the National Employment Law Project. Benefits average about $320 per week nationwide.

But the sequester ‘cut’ of $44 billion dollars, which is about a 1% reduction in the increase in spending, could be the end of the world!

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, March 7th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “‘Real Life’ New Jobless Claims Are Up By 23,138”

  1. Selective Reporting must be getting harder and harder in the “Information Age”

    • captstubby

      ” sign of improving economic conditions, household debt grew at its fastest pace since early 2008 ,
      and there is income that is falling into the consumers’ pockets,”

      Jobless claims drop, signaling labor market gains
      By Lucia Mutikani | Reuters – 16 hrs ago

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting a pick-up in the labor market recovery and the pace of economic growth.
      The data on Thursday was the latest to indicate the economy’s resilience in the face of higher taxes, although a separate report showing the U.S. trade gap widened in January dimmed the near-term outlook a bit.
      “Fundamentally, we are getting on a little better footing right now,” said Omair Sharif, an economist at RBS in Stamford, Connecticut.
      Initial claims for state jobless aid fell 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 340,000, the Labor Department said. It was the second straight weekly drop, and it confounded economists’ expectations for a rise to 355,000.
      The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labor market trends, fell 7,000 to 348,750 – the lowest level since March 2008.
      A 2 percent payroll tax cut ended and tax rates went up for wealthy Americans on January 1. In addition, $85 billion in federal budget cuts that could slice as much as 0.6 percentage point from growth this year started on March 1.
      Against the backdrop of tighter fiscal policy, economists were encouraged by the drop in claims.
      “It suggests that some jobs are being created and there is income that is falling into the consumers’ pockets,” said Sam Bullard, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina.
      In another sign of improving economic conditions, household debt grew at its fastest pace since early 2008 in the fourth quarter of last year, the Federal Reserve said in a report.
      Other reports showed steady job gains and a pick-up in tax refunds helped to boost sales at several retailers in February.

      •State Jobless Rate Worsens
      CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) – Illinois’ unemployment rate rose to 9 percent in January. That’s up from 8.7 percent in December and back to almost the 9.1 percent rate of January 2012.

      The number of unemployed people in the state rose by 4 percent to 594,800. The state added a relatively small 7,100 jobs in January.

      The biggest job losses were among companies in the trade, transportation and utilities sector where the state lost a net 5,500 jobs in January. Government agencies also shed a net 1,500 jobs. Educational and health services employers added 5,500 jobs.

  2. yadayada

    how can anyone see even 340k NEW jobless claims EACH MONTH as good news?
    I remember filing for unemployment for 5 months in 1992. each month was not a “new claim” it was an ongoing case. do low info types actually belive any of this to be good news. I’m not sure I personally know anyone that does. but they must be out there, because I saw the outrage some people in my state (Idaho) displayed last month when our legislature introduced a bill to split the welfare chcks to bimonthly payments. same total amounts to each person, but they wanted save recipients the pain of running out of money before running out of month. you would have thought they were actually cutting the benefit in half. people were picketing, petitioning, crying on t.v. they didn’t get it. even when it was explained.
    it scares me sometimes.


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