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Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Down – Again!

From a (perpetually) gobsmacked Associated Press:

Jobless claims drop to lowest level in 4 weeks

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON – The number of newly laid off workers filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to the lowest level in a month.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that applications for jobless benefits totaled 365,000, down by 9,000 from last week. Economists had expected claims to rise slightly.

Even with the unexpected decline, claims remain at a level that indicates the labor market is under stress from the sluggish economy. The four-week average for claims rose slightly to 372,250, up significantly from a year ago when the four-week average was around the 300,000 mark.

The level of jobless claims has been difficult to read over the past several weeks because of troubles adjusting the claims figures to take into account this year’s early Easter and the impact of a strike at an auto parts supplier for General Motors.

However, economists note that the trend for claims has been rising since last fall. The number of people receiving unemployment benefits was above the 3 million mark for the week ending May 10, the fourth straight week that has occurred. That is a level of continuing claims that has not been seen since 2004.

The Federal Reserve released a new economic outlook on Wednesday that showed Fed officials now expect economic activity to be much more sluggish this year, with the unemployment rate expected to rise more than the Fed had been forecasting.

The new Fed forecast predicted the unemployment rate will rise to between 5.5 percent and 5.7 percent by the end of this year, up from a forecast done in January which projected unemployment would rise as high as 5.3 percent. The unemployment rate is currently at 5 percent.

The Fed projected that overall economic growth would slow to between 0.3 percent and 1.2 percent this year, down from the January forecast for growth that estimated growth of between 1.3 percent and 2 percent…

The economy has slowed to a crawl since the final three months of last year, with some analysts fearing that the country has toppled into a recession

As others (such as Ann Coulter) have often noted, any good news about the economy when a Republican is in the White House is always “unexpected.”

Always.

And the truth is always buried by our guardians in the media.

The Federal Reserve released a new economic outlook on Wednesday that showed Fed officials now expect economic activity to be much more sluggish this year, with the unemployment rate expected to rise more than the Fed had been forecasting.

And yet the media never give up.

Why is that?

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, May 22nd, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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