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

New jobless claims drop by 4,000 but remain stubbornly high

New jobless claims filed last week dropped only 4,000 to 444,000, as unemployment remains stubbornly high.

Forecasters had been expecting a greater drop in new jobless claims. The official U.S. unemployment rate is 9.9 percent, up from 9.7 percent in March, though nearly 300,000 new jobs were added to the economy last month.

The four-week moving average of new jobless claims, which smooths out volatility in the week-to-week numbers, dropped 9,000 to 450,500.

The number of continuing claims -- the long-term unemployed -- actually rose slightly last week to 4.63 million, from 4.62 million.

The fact that the new jobless claims number remains unmovable is somewhat puzzling, given the slight but steady increase recently in payrolls.

Further, the new weekly jobless claims number seems stuck at an important hump: Economists say that for meaningful job growth to begin in this economy, the weekly jobless claims numbers needs to get down into the low 400,000s or, better, upper 300,000s and stay there.

This is going to be a real issue as the November mid-term elections approach. Already, we've seen a backlash against incumbents in the primaries. If unemployment stays stuck near 10 percent by November, it could bode poorly for all incumbents but specifically Democrats, who will have to answer the charge from Republican challengers that unemployment has done little but rise over the past year.

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By Frank Ahrens  |  May 13, 2010; 8:54 AM ET
Categories:  Unemployment  | Tags: Business, Claims, Financial Services, Insurance, Jobless claims, Moving average, Unemployment, United States  
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Comments

We built more labor saving devices. Get a wicker basket and go lighter than air. I can pilot the thing. They are colorful and greatly misunderstood aircraft. It'll be an adventure, it'll be dangerous and it'll be fun. We'll go to unimagined heights with hydrogen. You are sore or soaring.

Posted by: tossnokia | May 13, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Only 400,000 more unemployed. Wow we are doing an awesome job!

There are over 26,000 people that have emailed congress from Change.org asking for Tier 5. Those are just the people have have found the petition and have net access. http://www.change.org/petitions/view/the_99ers_need_a_tier_v_added_to_unemployment_benefits

For the last eight weeks, Initial Unemployment Claims have averaged 450,000 per week. So, over the last four weeks [the month counted], 1.8 million people were laid off. How does that fit in with the claim that 290,000 new jobs were created? The obvious answer is that it doesn’t. Now we are averaging only 400,000 jobs lost per week and this is a good thing?

The CES Birth/Death adjustment added 188,000 of those jobs. Birth/Death does not refer to people but to businesses. The BLS guesses how many new companies opened versus how many closed their doors. The BLS then uses that guess to guess again how many jobs those business created or lost.

Another 66,000 of the new jobs came from census hiring
Another 26,000 of the new jobs were non-census temporary
Let’s recap:

A guess produced 188,000 of the jobs, 66,000 were census and 26,000 were temporary.
280,000 of the 290,000 “new jobs” were either temporary or the result of guesswork.


Hollywood Video just laid off 12,000 workers.

The American public is seeing the the unemployment rate is increasing and that any gains are made by people exhausting their benefits and thus falling off the unemployment count.

What is it going to take for Congress to act?

Posted by: Tim_incubator | May 13, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

66K were counting. It was one of those things you could of never guessed. Are you having a good time?

Thank me by keeping me Posted.

Thanks.

Posted by: tossnokia | May 13, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

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