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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

New jobless claims unexpectedly rise 22,000

Unemployment claims filed last week rose unexpectedly, coming in at 496,000, up 22,000 from the previous week.

Taken with other discouraging news released this week -- record-low January new home sales and a slide in consumer confidence -- the new jobless claims number describes a slow and uncertain recovery.

Forecasters had expected 460,000 new jobless claims to be filed last week

The four-week moving average of new jobless claims -- which smooths out volatility in the week-to-week numbers -- rose 6,000 to 473,750.

One thing to remember: New jobless claims filed over the past few weeks undoubtedly were goosed by the harsh weather and endless snowstorms that blanketed the country.

Continuing claims rose to 4.617 million, compared with 4.611 million the prior week, which describes the long-term unemployment problem in the country.

The U.S. unemployment rate stands at 9.7 percent, a number that decreased from the previous month only because so many unemployed Americans gave up looking for working, shrinking the job pool.

The truer unemployment rate stands at 16.5 percent, a number that takes into account all of the people who should be working full time but are not: people who have given up looking for work, or "discouraged" workers, and those who want full-time jobs but are forced to take part-time work.

Economists expect the official unemployment rate to remain near 10 percent through at least the remainder of the year, a factor that will impact the midterm elections in November.

In other economic news, orders for durable goods in January rose 3 percent, compared with a 1.9 percent bump in December. However, if you remove transportation-related goods -- cars, airplanes -- the January durable goods number actually declined 0.6 percent, which was less than expectations, after rising 2 percent in December.

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By Frank Ahrens  |  February 25, 2010; 8:47 AM ET
Categories:  Data , The Ticker , Unemployment  | Tags: durable goods, jobless claims  
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Let me understand this - we are now blaming the weather for "higher than expected new unemployment claims", wow, I thought it would have been Bush's fault, I guess that excuse is getting old, Blame anything but the current administration's anti-business policies - got it!

Posted by: TimeforMcCain | February 25, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

TimforMcCain hit the bullseye with his comments above. The weather can never be blamed for loss of jobs, unless a business's resources and facilities are damaged or destroyed. Even so, these losses would not account for 22,000 additional lost jobs, nor account for the true unemployment rate of 16.5%.

My brother's been unemployed for over a year, so stop blaming the weather and former President Bush for the flailing or weak economy. His employer was not affected by Bush's policies, but rather the desire to merge with another company.

Like global warming and cooling, employment health and the global economy is cyclical and depends on a variety of factors, only a small segment of it is affected by weather.

Posted by: BlueThunder613 | February 25, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

This is not a surprise. People couldn't get out to apply the previous week or so and they are just catching up. Despite the political smoke and mirrors, it's still the economy stupid!!!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | February 25, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Unexpected to who? 1) The morons who are economists or 2) The morons on the hill?

Posted by: cavatellie | February 25, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

It's funny that there was never any mention of the "true" unemployment rate before Obama. Every other president had only to account for the official rate, but Obama continues to be held to a higher standard than his predecessor. This is typical--no accountability for the rich and powerful (GWB); no benefit of the doubt for those who have to make it based on their own abilities (BO).

Posted by: writinron | February 25, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I would hardly call the democratic party poor or downtrodden! The Bush administration also had full employment during his administration and the media hardly focused at all on that, now unemployment is at 10% and the media says it "could be worse", so cherry pick if you want, but the media was hardly a friend to the Bush Administration

Posted by: TimeforMcCain | February 25, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Truer Un-employment really stands at 25-30% - and rising. Do some better research. It never recovered from the '02, '03, '04, et al busts.

This still is about the Bush/Cheney/Rove/Gramm/Gingrich/neo-cons gargantuanly failed Economy and de-regulation. And, if Obama and the Dems don't find some backbone fast, it will soon be about them.

Is the US doomed to tag-team failed Administrations? This could be Red China's Century.

Posted by: Whittier5 | February 25, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

hey witinron, don't bother with the true rate, just use the official one, 10%, are you happy with that?

Don't bash the Post, they are the true Obama believers. If they start negative, Obama really is in trouble

Posted by: kathymac1 | February 25, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Your brother has been unemployed for a year and you're looking to blame Bush and Obama?

Your brother likely got laid off because he, as an individual, wasn't creating any value for his company....Not Obama's fault, or Bush's for that matter.

In a down economy, the best way to show patriotism, is to make the best of the vast opportunities this country offers its citizens....and do your part to get the rock rolling.

blame games don't produce a profit.

Posted by: edvanrensyahoocom | February 25, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I am still amazed at the naivete shown by so many posters. It took decades to dig the hole we are in and both Dems and the GOP happily contributed. Obama ain't going to get us out and the GOP serves only the richest 1% of the country and our corporate masters and for sure could give a damn about the unemployed.

This is what passes for an economy when you offshore most of your manufacturing base.

We are going to have to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and sadly it won't work. Game over, enjoy our future, we all helped earn it.

Posted by: knutton | February 25, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

It's only "unexpected" to Democrats and economic forecasters....

Until state and federal government allows individuals and employers to keep more of what they earn, then get the hell out of the way, we'll continue to get what we're getting.

Posted by: RobParker | February 25, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

You're doing a heck of a job, Barry!

Posted by: jpost1 | February 25, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

It's neither Bush nor Obama's fault individually, since the president doesn't have any REAL control over employment. It's the policies of BOTH parties...Clinton=NAFTA...Lil Bush=allowed thousands of jobs to be sent over seas...

The longer you all sit around and argue about whose fault it is, the longer you will be without a job.

Fight the real enemy.

Posted by: chynna12169 | February 25, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

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