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Weekly Unemployment Claims Are Up Again

From a relentlessly sunny Associated Press:

Unemployment aid applications up 2nd straight week

December 1, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose for the second straight week, a sign the hiring market is recovering at a slow and uneven pace.

Notice how artfully this is worded. Even an increase in jobless benefits is "a sign the hiring market is improving" – albeit "at a slow and uneven pace."

Weekly applications for unemployment benefits rose by 6,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 402,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Applications had been below 400,000 for three straight weeks

And even the priors week’s already bad number was revised upward, by 2,000, you won’t be surprised to hear.

But the AP does not mention those details. Instead, they want us to savor those three straight weeks of the applications being below 400,000.

The recent increases aren’t enough to suggest things are getting worse, economists said.

"The overall trend in claims is still friendly," said Jennifer Lee, an economist at BMO Capital Markets in a note to clients. "Don’t be too overly concerned with the ups and downs of each week as this is a volatile report."

Because there is a Democrat in the White House.

The report covered the Thanksgiving holiday week, when applications usually fall sharply. That can make seasonal adjustment of the figures difficult

Once again, this is bunk. These weekly jobless reports are seasonally adjusted. Thanksgiving has been celebrated on the third Thursday of November since the days of FDR. Since 1941 to be exact.

The figures come one day before the government reports on job growth in November. Economists project that employers added a net 125,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate stayed at 9 percent for the second straight month…

And these economists are never wrong.

Some economists are more optimistic after payroll provider ADP said Wednesday that companies added 206,000 workers last month, the most this year. That survey doesn’t include government agencies, which have been cutting jobs…

You see? If it weren’t for all of the mean-spirited cuts to government jobs, the unemployment rate would be going down?

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, December 1st, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

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