New Jobless Claims Drop, Housing Starts Hit Expectations
New jobless claims dropped by 12,000 last week, beating expectations and new housing starts hit expectations, in two good pieces of news for the economy released moments ago.
According to the Labor Department, 545,000 people filed new jobless claims last week, down form a revised number of 557,000 the week before. Forecasters expected the number of claims to increase last week to 560,000.
Continuing jobless claims rose from 6.1 million to 6.23 million. This number is troublesome, because it indicates a jobless population unable to find new work, or one that has given up looking for work. U.S. unemployment now stands at 9.7 percent and rising, and forecasters and the White House expect it to crest over 10 percent. But don't expect it to start going down as soon as it hits 10 percent; it could hang up there -- at European levels -- for months if not years.
On the housing front, starts were up 1.5 percent from July to August and building permits -- a good sign post of the recovery -- were up 2.7 percent, month-to-month.
Housing starts hit expectations, with 598,000 recorded in July; forecasters expected 600,000.
-- Frank Ahrens
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September 17, 2009; 8:49 AM ET
Categories: The Ticker | Tags: housing starts, jobless claims
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