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Shocker: Jobless Rate Up Unexpectedly

From a perpetually surprised Associated Press:

Jobless claims up, retail sales dip unexpectedly

By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER (AP)

WASHINGTON — The number of newly laid-off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly last week and retail sales disappointed in July. The latest government reports reinforced concerns about how quickly consumers will be able to contribute to a broad economic recovery.

"There is really no positive spin to put on these numbers," Jennifer Lee, an economist with BMO Capital Markets, wrote in a research note. "The U.S. consumer remains very weak. The jobs situation, while slowly improving, is still dismal."

The Labor Department says initial claims increased to a seasonally adjusted 558,000, from 554,000 the previous week. Analysts expected new claims to drop to 545,000, according to Thomson Reuters.

The number of people remaining on the benefit rolls, meanwhile, fell to 6.2 million from 6.34 million the previous week. Analysts had expected a smaller decline. The continuing claims data lags initial claims by one week

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said retail sales fell 0.1 percent last month. Economists had expected a gain of 0.7 percent.

While autos, helped by the start of the Cash for Clunkers program, showed a 2.4 percent jump — the biggest in six months — there was widespread weakness elsewhere. Gasoline stations, department stores, electronics outlets and furniture stores all reported declines…

"Households are in no position to drive a decent economic recovery," Paul Dales, U.S. economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a note to clients…

Including federal emergency benefit programs, 9.25 million people received unemployment compensation in the week ending July 25, the latest data available. That’s down from a record of 9.35 million the previous week. Congress has added up to 53 extra weeks of benefits on top of the 26 typically provided by the states…

Yes, we have seen this headline a countless number of times before. (Indeed, roughly 898,000 times before – and counting.)

But we were especially struck by this quote:

"There is really no positive spin to put on these numbers," Jennifer Lee, an economist with BMO Capital Markets, wrote in a research note.

Is it too farfetched to wonder if the “research note” wasn’t a response to the question from her clients at the AP, “is there anyway we can spin these numbers positively?”

But perhaps we’ve grown too cynical.

The Labor Department says initial claims increased to a seasonally adjusted 558,000, from 554,000 the previous week. Analysts expected new claims to drop to 545,000, according to Thomson Reuters…

The number of people remaining on the benefit rolls, meanwhile, fell to 6.2 million from 6.34 million the previous week. Analysts had expected a smaller decline…

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said retail sales fell 0.1 percent last month. Economists had expected a gain of 0.7 percent.

Why don’t our media watchdogs find some more reliable economists?

And why do these economists’ mis-estimations always favor the Democrat position of the moment?

(Perhaps we have answered our own question.)

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, August 13th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

24 Responses to “Shocker: Jobless Rate Up Unexpectedly”

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Wo…sure didn’t see THAT one comin’. Hey Martha, when’s that guy who has a bridge to sell me comin’ by? I need to git all my money out for it. Boy, are we gonna be rich!

  2. proreason says:

    but but but but…..

    Just yesterday, the newspapers were filled with declarations that the Recession has ended. We’ve reached bottom. It’s all uphill from here. Bernake, in particular, should be canonized.

    Oh well, at least we know for absolute sure that Cap and Tas and Death Care will make employment skyrocket. Huge tax increases and crushing regulations bring out the best in the American worker. And employers quickly get the message. “Hire or go bankrupt”.

    Happy days are nearly here again.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      …And don’t forget all those “green jobs” that people are standing in line fightnig over.

  3. Howard Roark says:

    But perhaps we’ve grown too cynical.

    Who gives a damn if you’ve “grown cynical” or not in these times? I call it “a sense of reality”. I’d much rather call it what it is than continue with this Orwellian doublespeak that the Dems and their Wizard try to do to our world here in Oz.

    I find myself getting sullen and nearly broken with every day that goes by. My sleeplessness and overall health is declining, I can tell. What’s waiting on me is a delapidated economic horizon, supported by a grey, lifeless, Soviet-style underworld of breadlines, black markets, and tyranny. We have seen America’s crest, and it was called the Reagan Revolution. Get ready now for the Age of Obama, complete with collapse, suicide, and hearing the party lines incessantly parroted by the AP, CNN, and every media outlet.

    What a cruel joke our notion of “Hope” has turned out to be.

    • proreason says:

      Hang in there HR. Keep punching.

      It’s always darkest before the dawn.

    • Steve says:

      “Who gives a damn if you’ve “grown cynical” or not in these times? I call it “a sense of reality”. I’d much rather call it what it is than continue with this Orwellian doublespeak that the Dems and their Wizard try to do to our world here in Oz.”

      Sigh.

      facetious, a.
      [ad. Fr. facétieux (cited from 16th c.), f. facétie, ad. L. facetia (see facetiÆ) + -ous.]
      † 1. [After L. facetus.] Of style, manners, etc.: Polished and agreeable, urbane. Obs.
      2. Characterized by, or addicted to, pleasantry; jocose, jocular, waggish. Formerly often with laudatory sense: Witty, humorous, amusing; also, gay, sprightly.
      a. of utterances, compositions, actions, etc.
      b. of persons, their qualities, etc.

    • Howard Roark says:

      I know you were being facetious, Steve. Please don’t take my post as a slap against your face. I meant to speak rhetorically, not personally against you.

      And thanks, PR, for the words of encouragement. I keep telling myself what you said, believe me. It’s all I have left. As I was saying to my lady last night, “You know, I’ve never been one to give up, Babe. Things are looking bleak and hopeless right now, and I’m feeling beat and overcome. I keep plugging away at a dry well. But you know what? I tell myself that there’s an answer there somewhere, and I’m just gonna dig one foot deeper. It’s what I’ve always done.”

      I think I’m getting emotional about it all. I found myself dreaming last night about being in our local grocery store, and reciting my life’s story to everyone in the lines because a welfare/food stamps unwed mother was able to buy better food than me, and somehow, in this dream, I knew that she was also the girl getting free tuition to a local college. I woke up after minutes of backing off a store full of people who were, themselves, broken, and mad at the lunatic screaming about going into the military at 18, blah, blah, blah… Suddenly, I was “that guy”.

      “Not everyone can do that”, some fat crumudgeon snarled back at me. Yeah, I guess so. Not everyone can take on life by the rules, playing fair with what’s out there instead of getting government relief because you’ve made bad choices about getting pregnant. I have no one else but myself to blame for being white, male, childless, and, at 41, nothing to show for it.

      Still I try.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Howard, Here’s an excerpt from “Animal House” that might buck you up.

      D-Day: War’s over, man. Wormer dropped the big one.
      Bluto: Over? Did you say “over”? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
      Otter: Germans?
      Boon: Forget it, he’s rolling.
      Bluto: And it ain’t over now. ‘Cause when the goin’ gets tough…
      [thinks hard]
      Bluto: the tough get goin’! Who’s with me? Let’s go!
      [runs out, alone; then returns]
      Bluto: What the —- happened to the Delta I used to know? Where’s the spirit? Where’s the guts, huh? This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you’re gonna let it be the worst. “Ooh, we’re afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble.” Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I’m not gonna take this. Wormer, he’s a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer…
      Otter: Dead! Bluto’s right. Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.
      Bluto: We’re just the guys to do it.
      D-Day: Let’s do it.
      Bluto: *Let’s do it*!

    • Howard Roark says:

      Funny stuff, there, Dale, er, Rusty! It was worth a much-needed chuckle. Thanks. My favorite lines as I remember Belushi’s maniacal gaze:

      Bluto: Over? Did you say “over”? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
      Otter: Germans?
      Boon: Forget it, he’s rolling.

  4. Consilience says:

    All of the so-called experts are in a continual state of shock and surprise; if they’re this damned surprised why would anyone continue to listen to anything they have to say?
    I was sitting in the barber chair this morning and CNN was on—these folks were desperately trying to spin the drop in retail sales as a sign things are looking up! Laughing and yucking it up while they reported on the estimated 2400 foreclosures a day. Their propaganda is laughable until one considers half (perhaps more) of the population believes their swill…

  5. TwilightZoned says:

    “I find myself getting sullen and nearly broken with every day that goes by.”

    I so know your pain, HR, as I feel the same on way too many occasions. This is why I’m so thankful for finding this site. We, as like minded people, must be able to share our opinions and sorrow over what is happening to our country. We, as like minded people, must also bolster and encourage each other to keep up the good fight.

    Not too long ago a member relayed, “Evil men prevail when good men do nothing.” Sure shed a positive light and helped lift my spirits.

    • proreason says:

      Maybe I’m being a pollyanna, but I’m more optimistic than I’ve been in a couple of years.

      The sleeping giant has definitely been awakened. Even if Death Care passes, I think THAT event will simply add fuel to the fire and increase the anger of the country. Death Care is the death knell for the latest attempt by the Marxists to sieze total control of the country.

      I’m even hoping that the backlash is so intense that we unwind some of the nonsense that has been implemented in the last 4 decades. For example, I’d like to see school vouchers be more strongly encouraged, and the Constitution and American history be taught in public schools again. I’d also like to see term limits and firewalls that prevent deficit spending.

      I know things could still go against us, but life thrives on hope. Only Liberals thrive on despair.

    • TwilightZoned says:

      Yes, the sleeping giant has certainly been awakened and it appears to be in the over 50 group. The youngsters just don’t seem to get it, so it is up to us to make that intense backlash occur. Absolutely, civics needs to be brought back into the classroom. Yes, to term limits and I really like the idea of spending firewalls as well.

    • electionhangovervictim says:

      HR and TZ, I, too, am more than discouraged with the direction in which our country is headed. It’s making me down right depressed. I can’t see any light at the end of this long, frightening tunnel.
      PR, how do you maintain your optimism? Reading Rusty’s comments do help bring a smile to my face, I must say. Perhaps I’m a coward, but I’m ready to leave…move out of this country and sell t-shirts to tourists on the beach of some caribbean island.

    • proreason says:

      “PR, how do you maintain your optimism?:

      Mrs. Reason informed me a couple of days ago that we are definitely voting in 2010 and that we will vote 100% Republican. This from a woman who didn’t know the difference between a Democrat and a Republican 3 weeks ago.

      I’m optimistic because Americans are waking up to the facist threat. There’s no question about it.

      One can argue whether it’s enough, or too late, or will be drowned out by the facist msm….but one can’t argue that it isn’t happening.

      And the population bubble we mostly all live within has never been particularly active in politics. The so-far-silent numbers of baby-boomer is huge.

      Since the alternative is the gray, dreary, death-obsessed slurry of socialism, the only alternative is to keep pushing, every day in every way. If we have to push the con artists, criminals, and fear mongers over the cliff, so be it.

      But I do sympathize deeply with Howard, LD, and all others who have no work and see slim prospects. I have never been is so difficult position myself (although I will be in a few years if I don’t succeed at current endeavors). Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet. The only solution is to depose the criminals, put workers and achievers like Howard and LD back in the drivers seat, and try with all our might to forever prevent such criminal actions by political thugs ever again.

      (and btw, I certainly have more than my share of moments of despair as well. Believe me.)

    • electionhangovervictim says:

      PR,
      I can appreciate all the points you’ve made, I’m just fearful that there won’t be enough of us to “push the con artists, criminals, and fear mongers over the cliff”. People that feel as we do (and by “we”, I mean patriots, conservatives, fans of this blog, etc) are becoming the minority in this country and when groups like Acorn are out there registering illegals and DEAD people to vote, pretty soon, our votes won’t be enough to affect the change in office we need.
      Wow, I’m shocked by my own pessimism!

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      Say guys .. heartening news!

      I was at a Tea Party Patriot meeting here in the Twin Cities area just last nite; and .. ya’ know what?!? They were expecting 30 to maybe .. at the MOST .. 50 people.

      By gawd S&L’rs .. there was just under 400 people there! Here in the blue, blue state of Minnesota! Close to 400 .. on a Wednesday evening at 7PM .. there they were!

      And .. they were jazzed! It raised my spirits even further!

      And .. these folks were loudly saying, “We don’t want it to stop here. What more can we do?”

      If there’s any good hidden in this mess, (as others have said) it’s the fact that the larger “American Spirit” is being revived and energized! And for that .. I’m very, very grateful!

      The prices that have been paid .. the huge sacrifices that have been made .. for our freedoms .. our liberty .. need to be honored and safeguarded and preserved by us all!

      And to that end, I’d like you all to know that daily (and several times throughout the day) .. I say a prayer for us all; and one certainly that says “God Bless and Keep America”!!!

      God Bless us all .. let’s keep fighting the good fight! The best to you all!

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      And electionhangovervictim .. there’s plenty enough of us good, solid, patriotic conservative, Americans. We are guilty however, of being a far too silent majority for far too long!

      There’s approx 200 some million registered voters here in this Country. Approx 56 million voted for o-blah-blah. The votes he got represent only about 1/3rd of the total voting block. Many people simply didn’t vote! Don’t fall into the trap of becoming disheartened because he supposedly got some sort of monumental mandate from the voters .. it simply isn’t true or supported thru fact.

      As far as ACORN .. they have roughly 400k members nationwide. They’re loud! They’re visible – “get in their faces”. They’re mobile. They’re funded well with our money. But they ain’t invincible! We simply haven’t “organized” well enough to strategize and help engineer their downfall .. yet.

      I personally have been meeting with some folks up here that would fit well into the S&L arena; and that have been working out some details with me on how to launch a very effective and encompassing network of conservative and patriotic Americans to fill a host of “needs” we currently have throughout our nation. It might be somewhat premature of me to go into much detail now .. but have heart and hope, electionhangovervictim .. we’re far from having no affect!

      Hopefully, I’ll be able to expand somewhat on our groups discussions up here sooner or later (with Steve’s permission, of course); but do again, have heart and hope!

      Evil men only get to rule when good men do nothing; and, .. many good men and women are doing much and planning to do more! Keep the faith!!!

    • electionhangovervictim says:

      Minnesota,
      Thanks for the pep talk…I’m encouraged by your comments as well as your attitude. Sadly, I’m already disheartened, BUT not to the point that I turn to “the dark side”. It’s people like you and PR and Rusty and many other S&L’rs that help to revive me or give me a swift kick in ass when I need it.
      Thanks again and God bless.

    • TwilightZoned says:

      MR, nearly 400 teapartiers at one meeting, in a very blue state…now that IS good news! Thanks for sharing.

  6. trmade98 says:

    When sites like http://www.dailyjobcuts.com has nothing to post, i will believe that we are out of this depression…

  7. Obviously, these numbers are more right wingnut lies, as Economists Say Recession May Be Over.

  8. David says:

    Absolutely shocking! Who could have guessed that a president with no experience would do a terrible job. Just shocking. If only someone had warned us.

  9. MinnesotaRush says:

    Oooops. Never mind. Put sumptin’ in the wrong spot. Sorry.


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