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Unemployment Claims Are Up — Unexpectedly!

From Reuters:

Jobless claims rise, labor market still healing

By Lucia Mutikani | March 28, 2013

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but probably not enough to suggest the labor market recovery was taking a step back.

"Unexpected" is back! Even though this is the second week in a row that unemployment claims have increased.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 357,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Still, they remained in the middle of their range for this year.

The prior week’s claims figure was revised to show 5,000 more applications than previously reported…

That number has now been revised up for 103 of the past 108 weeks.

Claims, however, could become volatile in the coming weeks because of the early timing of Easter and spring breaks, which could throw off the so-called seasonal factor…

Why do we even have bother with ‘seasonal adjustments’ if they are always thrown off by these annual events?

And here is how the Associated Press tries to turn the rain into sunshine:

US jobless claims jump 16,000 to 357,000

By PAUL WISEMAN | March 28, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits jumped by 16,000 last week, the second straight weekly increase. But the longer-term trend in layoffs remained consistent with an improved job market…

Naturally. Nothing says" an improved job market" like two weeks of increases in jobless claims.

Meanwhile, we also have this from the Associated Press:

US economy expands at 0.4 percent rate

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER | March 28, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a slightly faster but still anemic rate at the end of last year. However, there is hope that growth accelerated in early 2013 despite higher taxes and cuts in government spending.

The economy grew at an annual rate of 0.4 percent in the October-December quarter, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That was slightly better than the previous estimate of 0.1 percent growth. The revision reflected stronger business investment and export sales.

Analysts think the economy is growing at a rate of around 2.5 percent in the current January-March quarter, which ends this week…

Yes, the tax hike on the so-called rich and the payroll tax increases are going to definitely boost the economy in the first quarter.

The 0.4 percent growth rate for the gross domestic product, the economy’s total output of goods and services, was the weakest quarterly performance in almost two years and followed a much faster 3.1 percent increase in the third quarter.

So even with this revision upward, it’s still "the worse quarterly performance in two years."

The fourth quarter was hurt by the sharpest fall in defense spending in 40 years…

Which happened months before any sequester cuts took effect.

For all of 2012, the economy grew 2.2 percent after a 1.8 percent increase in 2011 and a 2.4 percent advance in 2010. Since the recession ended in mid-2009, the economy has been expanding at sub-par rates as a string of problems from higher gas prices to Europe’s debt crisis have acted as a drag on the U.S. economy…

You see? All our economic problems are due to high gas prices and the EU’s debt crisis. Not Obama’s economic policies.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, March 28th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Unemployment Claims Are Up — Unexpectedly!”

  1. captstubby says:

    see, everything is doing fine,
    in a George Orwell kind of way.

    Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates
      February 2013
    January 2013
    February 2012

    Moving Avg.
    9.5% 9.0% 8.9%* 9.0%
    7.7% 7.9% 8.3%* 7.8%
          * Revised  

    Illinois Adds 12,400 Jobs in February
    Job Growth Encourages More People to Look for Work
    CHICAGO – Illinois added 12,400 jobs in February,
    Their re-entry into the labor force pushed the February unemployment rate to 9.5 percent, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Data is seasonally adjusted.
    Over the year, from February 2012 to February 2013,
    Illinois has recorded job growth in 28 of the past 38 months
    In February 2013, the number of unemployed individuals increased +34,900 (+5.9 percent) to 629,400.
    The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking employment. A person who exhausts benefits, or is ineligible, still will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work. Historically, the national unemployment rate is lower than the state rate. The state rate has been lower than the national rate only six times since January 2000.
    The Bureau of Labor Statistics requires annual revisions to employment and labor force data. Revisions occur each February. Data and analysis distributed prior to March 1, 2013 should be discarded.
    Illinois monthly labor force, unemployed and unemployment rates for years 2008-2012 have been revised as required by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In February of each year, monthly labor force data for all states are revised to reflect updated sum-of-states controls, Census population controls, seasonal factors, non-farm jobs and unemployment insurance claims inputs. Data were also smoothed to eliminate large monthly changes as a result of volatility in the monthly household (CPS) survey. Comments and tables distributed in prior Illinois unemployment rate news release materials should be discarded because any analysis, including records, previously cited might no longer be valid.

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