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Spring Break Causes Spike In Jobless Claims

From an unquestioning Associated Press:

More people sought unemployment benefits last week

May 5, 2011

WASHINGTON – The number of people applying for unemployment benefits surged last week to the highest level in eight months, a sign the job market may be weakening

"Weakening"? When was it ever not weak in the last three years?

A department spokesman blamed much of the increase on an unexpected spike in applications from New York, where more school systems than usual closed for spring break last week. That resulted in 25,000 layoffs. The department didn’t anticipate the closures when making seasonal adjustments, the spokesman said…

Does any sane person believe that school systems lay off people for spring break? And, even if they do, are they out of work long enough to bother to apply for unemployment?

Well, apparently the reporters at Reuters believe it, too:

Jobless claims hit 8-month high

By Lucia Mutikani
May 5, 2011

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing for jobless benefits rose to an eight-month high last week and productivity growth slowed in the first quarter, clouding the outlook for an economy that is struggling to gain speed.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 43,000 to a seasonally adjusted 474,000, the highest since mid-August, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Claims were pushed up by factors ranging from spring break layoffs to the introduction of an emergency benefits program

Oh, so not only did spring break drive unemployment up – but offering more jobless benefits did as well.

Economists had expected claims to fall to 410,000

Why even mention these "economists"? They have been unfailingly wrong since Mr. Obama became President. (Oddly enough.)


Really? What was the first clue?

The anticipated slowdown in hiring is mostly blamed on high food and gasoline prices, which clipped economic growth in the first quarter.

So the hike in jobless claims was both unexpected and anticipated. Oh, and now we hear it is also because of high food and gas prices. Even though we are constantly told by the government that there is no inflation.

Still, the unemployment rate is expected to have held at a two-year low of 8.8 percent

Because, no matter what, the unemployment number must be made to look like it is trending down. After all, the Labor Department and the news media have to get Mr. Obama re-elected.

A Labor Department official attributed the surprise surge in claims last week to spring break layoffs in New York, which added 25,000, and the start of an emergency benefits program in Oregon, which brought in new claimants, including some already on the regular programs

Mind you, this is the same Department of Labor that says unemployment is ‘only’ at 8.8%.

There were also additional claims from the auto sector, the official said, adding that there could have been some small number of claims related to the tornadoes that struck parts of the country

Hilarious. Meanwhile, they have forgotten their Japanese earthquake and tsunami excuses already.

By the way, you will be stunned and amazed to hear that last week’s new unemployment claims number was (once again) revised up by 2,000. Naturally, you would never hear that detail from the AP or Reuters.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, May 5th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Spring Break Causes Spike In Jobless Claims”

  1. Petronius says:

    There are a few heartening signs that business people are fed up with the phony numbers coming out of Washington and with the silly excuses offered on behalf of the government by AP and Reuters.

    See, for example, John Williams’ Shadow Government Statistics, a web site dedicated to correcting misleading government economic data. In particular note his Alternate Data charts, Primers, and Hyperinflation Report.


    The government’s official unemployment rate of 8.8% substantially understates the true reality, because the government count excludes those individuals who have been unemployed over the long-term and those who have given up looking. The real number of people unemployed is over 20%.

    While the American population keeps rising, through natural increase and immigration (mostly from immigration), the numbers of people working are static or actually decreasing.

    Wages are also declining in real terms. Over the last few months, disposable income has fallen at a 5% annual rate. This is the rough equivalent of placing a 5% national sales tax on the economy.

    Government inflation stats are also artificially low, because the government picks and chooses the goods it wants to look at. The government figures exclude gas, food, and most medical expenses. After all, why should the government use a CPI that’s based on necessities? Surely nobody would want that?

  2. proreason says:

    I don’t think that people write these stories any more.

    They have computer systems that randomly select sentences and words from lists of options.

    Maybe a human does the final grammar check…if they can find any who graduated from LibProp school who understand the basics of grammar.

  3. Right of the People says:

    “Does any sane person believe that school systems lay off people for spring break? And, even if they do, are they out of work long enough to bother to apply for unemployment?”

    Oh snap! Memorial Day is coming up, that’s going to shoot the hell out of their statistics.

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