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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Jobless Claims in U.S. Unexpectedly (???) Rose Last Week

I saw this headline from Bloomberg and I wanted to post it for two reasons. 

One, I have been saying for some time that it looks to me as things will only get worse before they get better.  Virtually every State in our Nation is running huge budget short-falls, which will be addressed by cuts, higher taxes and fees and layoffs.  Hardly a recipe for business growth.  Also, I see no empirical evidence that business in general is improving.  In driving around just yesterday I remarked how things look much worse than last year.  More closed restaurants, more businesses with going out of business banners reading "Everything must go." Endless, empty, commercial spaces everywhere. High-end retail areas with almost no pedestrians.

Two, for those fortunate enough not to be deeply effected by this horrible economic downtown, we need to remain focused on helping those whose lives have been so profoundly impacted.

From Bloomberg:

The number of Americans seeking jobless benefits last week unexpectedly rose to a one-month high, indicating firings are staying elevated even as the U.S. economy grows.

Initial jobless claims increased by 12,000 to 472,000 in the week ended June 12, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected 450,000 claims, according to the median forecast. The number of people receiving unemployment insurance rose, while those getting extended benefits dropped.

Some companies are trimming payrolls to boost or maintain profits at the same time overall employment has grown each month this year. The figures show that bigger job gains needed to spur consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the economy, may be slow in developing, keeping the unemployment rate close to 10 percent.

“The labor market is not improving,” said Steven Ricchiuto, chief economist at Mizuho Securities USA Inc. in New York. “If you really are going to have a sustainable recovery, you need the labor market to improve.”

Initial jobless claims reflect weekly firings and tend to fall as job growth -- measured by the monthly non-farm payrolls report -- accelerates. Today’s report coincides with the week the government surveys companies for its monthly employment report.

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