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

New weekly jobless claims drop by 19,000; May durable goods orders down, too

The number of new jobless claims filed last week fell by 19,000 to 457,000, the Labor Department reported moments ago, in line with expectations.

The number of continuing claims remains near 4.5 million.

The official U.S. unemployment rate for May is 9.7 percent. The June number comes out next Friday and forecasters expect it to remain unchanged at 9.7 percent.

Economists say that it's hard for the economy to start creating a meaningful number of new jobs until the weekly jobless claims number gets down into the low 400,000s or upper 300,000s and stays there.

"Bottom line, it was good to see the drop off in claims following last weeks spike but the absolute level still remains high and points to a still sluggish labor market," writes Miller Tabak equity strategist Peter Boockvar. "The Gulf mess hasn't yet shown up in the data as the Labor Dept reported that for the week ended June 12th, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama actually had declines in initial claims filings."

In other data released moments ago, May durable goods orders fell 1.1 percent compared with April, when they rose 3 percent.

If you remove the transportation sector from durable goods orders -- this includes sales of everything from airplanes to cars -- the May number was up 0.9 percent.

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 24, 2010; 8:48 AM ET
Categories:  Unemployment  
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Comments

Thanks for some relatively good news!

Posted by: njglea | June 24, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for some relatively good news today!

Posted by: njglea | June 24, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

"The number of new jobless claims filed last week fell by 19,000 to 457,000"

Something is just not right with these numbers!

If there are close to half a million people filing "NEW" claims every single week how can the continuing unemployment numbers stay the same. In order for the continuing numbers to stay the same we would need close to a half a million people finding jobs and/or losing their benefits every single week.

Posted by: ChuckHill1 | June 24, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Congress has failed the American People again. How can we be adding over 450,000 to unemployment weekly and the have the numbers stay the same?

I am not one of the unemployed however see the need for Unemployment extensions… The fact that Congress cannot find other cuts is unacceptable; they always go after what is needed the most and save their pet projects and Wall Street friends.

Congress needs to be held accountable for the their failure to create a jobs bill and a jobs market. Extending Unemployment is not the answer however it what is needed now.

The Answer is to create jobs, which will take Congress placing higher taxes on any company that out sources jobs over seas, higher taxes on any funds leaving the US and higher tariffs on imports. Until then we have to pay out unemployment for the failure of our leaders.

Support unemployment here, it is one of Change.org highest all time petitions.

http://www.change.org/petitions/view/the_99ers_need_ a_tier_v_added_ to_unemployment _benefits

Posted by: Tim_incubator | June 24, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

To me, the good news here is that we seem to have stopped yelling at each other from our stoops. So in a way, our shared disparity appears to have somehow brought us all closer together. Which I presume has the affect of perhaps making us an easier target? And I say this in lite of Election Day being only a couple of months away, for it appears to me that everyone seems to have had the fight knocked out of them, even going so far as to take the fight out of themselves as a result. So, I'd like to know, what's going on now ? Or, maybe it's simply becuase it's now Summer! Who knows.

Posted by: jralger | June 24, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

A few exceptional economists may actually make comments that add some value. Of course, people make different judgements on who they are. Currently, we are in a period of economic disruptions that had already started by 2000 and that will last an unknown number of years. Economic policies intended to "recover" from the 2003 downturn had short term success and intermedate term disaster. The response of business and financial markets to the fall 2008 crisis created a sharp unsustainable downturn in asset prices and economic activity. Global government stimulus, rebuilding of inventories, deferred consumption by the still employed, and the market momentum from the bounce as the bungi chord took hold all contributed to a sharper upturn over the past year or so than many expected. Now that many of those factors have run their course we are left in considerable doubt whether we are in for some kind of oscillation within a narrower range, another serious plunge, some kind of gradual sustained upturn, or another 2003 like unsustainable boom. Some of the events of the last couple of months have reminded us of the potential for another down leg. Others have continued to provide some hope for some kind of sustainable up trend. But there is no easy way to know which if any of the visible expectations are based on some real understanding of the future and which are just a mistaken reaction to one or another of the recent rapidly changing trends.

Posted by: dnjake | June 24, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

"The number of new jobless claims filed last week fell by 19,000 to 457,000"
Something is just not right with these numbers!
If there are close to half a million people filing "NEW" claims every single week how can the continuing unemployment numbers stay the same. In order for the continuing numbers to stay the same we would need close to a half a million people finding jobs and/or losing their benefits every single week.

Posted by: ChuckHill1 | June 24, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

---------

That is exactly what it means. Even in tough economic times, lots of people are finding jobs and of course others are leaving the workforce (discouragement, retirement, death or illness, going back to college, whatever). The net unemployment number takes into account both new and old jobs and obviously we are running a deficit.

People tend to forget that at all times, good and bad, the US economy has much more "churn" of people coming and going, actual positions being added and eliminated (in different sectors and companies), and other change, than most other economies. From an economist's viewpoint, this is actually a strength compared to more rigid economies where people stay in the same job whether the need for it grows or disappears, etc. It creates new opportunities for greater pay, better jobs, etc., in good times but at the macro level also means the economy is just more responsive, flexible, and receptive to innovation.

When politicians do shorthand and say "there were 10 million jobs lost" or "there were 10 million jobs created" it really oversimplifies the facts. That basically means, a total of 10 million fewer (or in the other example, 10 million more) people had jobs. But in either case (and of course I am just using 10 million as a made-up, simple example) a heck of a lot more people had a change in employment during that time -- losing jobs, quitting, finding better ones, starting their own companies. In that scenario, it isn't like everybody else stayed put and 10 million specific people either gained or lost jobs. It's a net figure (hypothetical, as an example) that includes both.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | June 24, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I'm so encouraged. These number are close to the numbers (457,000) of illegals flooding across our borders every 4 months. This news just makes me happy, happy, happy.

What a screwed up government. Obama and the Democrats had better start updating their resumes.

Let's talk about the home forecloses, so I puck.

Posted by: richard36 | June 24, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that the cause and effect here is backwards. If the economy started creating new jobs, the jobless rate WOULD go down...

Posted by: rmgross1 | June 27, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

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