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Unemployment Applications Surge Unexpectedly

From a blind-sided Associated Press:

US unemployment aid applications surge to 368,000

By JOSH BOAK | December 12, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits rose 68,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 368,000, the largest increase in more than a year. The surge in first-time applications could be a troubling sign if it lasts. But it likely reflects the difficulty adjusting for delays after the Thanksgiving holiday.

"What the seasonals give in one month they have to take back the next, hence today’s number," said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics…

Why should it be so hard to seasonally adjust for Thanksgiving? It occurs at exactly the same time every year.

Would it be too cynical to wonder if the Labor Department had already cooked the books so these numbers would be bad while the Democrats were pushing to extend the ‘emergency’ federal unemployment benefits yet another year? Maybe the news that the Democrats were going to gave on this came too late. Or maybe the Democrats really haven’t given up. (Pelosi hasn’t.)

A healthier job market could make the Federal Reserve scale back its extraordinary economic stimulus programs…

Yes, that is another reason to keep the jobless numbers high.

More than 3.8 million people collected some form of unemployment benefits in the last full week of November.

Wow.

However, 1.25 million of them could soon lose those benefits. They received aid under a special federal program for the long-term unemployed that is set to expire on Dec. 28.

The program extends aid that usually expires after six months for an additional 28 weeks. Congressional leaders have proposed a budget deal that would not preserve the additional benefits, meaning that as many as 2.1 million Americans will lose this assistance by March.

Maybe the AP wrote these last two paragraphs before they got the memo that the Democrats were giving up on this extension. Unless, this means the Democrats haven’t given up, after all.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, December 12th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Unemployment Applications Surge Unexpectedly”

  1. Umjammerlammy

    Would it be too cynical to wonder if the Labor Department had already cooked the books so these numbers would be bad while the Democrats were pushing to extend the ‘emergency’ federal unemployment benefits yet another year?
    If you like your coincidences, you can keep your coincidences. Period.


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