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‘Unrevised’ Jobless Claims Are Up By 2,000

From an unabashed Associated Press:

Weekly US jobless aid applications little changed

By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER
May 24, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking unemployment aid changed little last week, signaling modest job growth.

The Labor Department says weekly unemployment benefit applications dipped by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 370,000.

Applications have leveled off in May after spiking in April to as high as 392,000 — a five month high. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, was also 370,000 last week.

The lower level suggests hiring could pick up a bit in May from April’s sluggish pace

Economists forecast employers will add 160,000 jobs this month. That’s above April’s gains but below the pace set this winter.

And from a slightly more honest Reuters:

Jobless claims little changed last week

May 24, 2012

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New claims for unemployment benefits fell slightly last week, government data on Thursday showed, suggesting the labor market continues to expand at a moderate pace.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 370,000, the Labor Department said. The prior week’s figure was revised up to 372,000 from the previously reported 370,000.

At least Reuters admits this. But after all, they are a British company.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims unchanged last week. The four-week moving average for new claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends, dropped 5,500 to 370,000.

Claims have barely budged in the past four weeks indicating a marginal improvement in the pace of job creation after April’s disappointing 115,000 gain in nonfarm payrolls…

The so-called continuing claims data covered the week for the household survey from which the unemployment rate is derived. The jobless rate dropped to 8.1 percent in April from 8.2 percent the prior month, but mostly as people gave up the hunt for work.

And buried in the eight paragraph we find:

While more states are losing eligibility for extended benefits for the long-term unemployed, that is not yet being fully captured in the claims data as the figures are reported with a time lag.

Economists expect that as more people fall off the unemployment benefit rolls, that will artificially push down the jobless rate. Out-of-work people not receiving benefits are not obliged to be actively looking for work, a key criteria to be counted as unemployed

All of which will make Obama look good just in time for the elections. Which may explain why the federal jobless benefits extension has been ended.

Still, what a stunning admission from someone in the news media. But, again, Reuters is a British company, so maybe they are not quite as afraid as the AP seems to be.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims unchanged last week. The four-week moving average for new claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends, dropped 5,500 to 370,000.

Claims have barely budged in the past four weeks indicating a marginal improvement in the pace of job creation after April’s disappointing 115,000 gain in nonfarm payrolls…

Again, if the number of people applying for unemployment has remained the same, how can anyone say the job market is improving? It really is to laugh.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, May 24th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

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