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Jobless claims jump higher than expected

By Ariana Eunjung Cha

The number of Americans filing jobless claims jumped higher than expected last week, underscoring worries about the economic recovery in the second half of the year.

The Labor Department said initial claims for unemployment benefits, which reflect firings by businesses, rose by 37,000 to 464,000 in the week ending on July 17. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected that claims would only hit 445,000 while those surveyed by Dow Jones had expected 448,000.

Many analysts had expected the jobless claim numbers to reverse declines earlier in the summer because of seasonal issues such as factories shutting down for maintenance. But last week's increase shows that there may be more challenges to the labor market.

Historically, jobless claims fall as jobs grow but in recent months that hasn't been the case as some companies have reduced staff while others have expanded in an uneven recovery.

New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson, for instance, said in July it would cut 300 positions from a factory where children's medicines were made. But other companies such as Apple, which last week announced that its profits hit a record high thanks to the successful rollout of its iPad and iPhone mobile devices, are adding to their payrolls.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke expressed worry about the jobs situation in testimony before Congress Wednesday, saying it will likely take a "significant amount of time" to bring back the roughly 8.5 million jobs lost in 2008 and 2009. After hitting a 26-year high of 10.1 percent in October 2009, the unemployment rate fell to 9.5 percent in June. But millions remain without work.

On Wednesday, the Senate approved the hotly debated extension of unemployment benefits for 2.5 million people whose benefits expired. The House is scheduled to vote on the bill Thursday.

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending July 10 were in New York (18,047) due to layoffs in the transportation, service and public administration industries and Indiana (9,094) due to layoffs in the automotive and service industries. The largest decreases were in New Jersey (-10,585) because of fewer reductions in transportation, warehousing and services and California (-8,034) because of shorter workweeks as well as fewer layoffs in the service industry, the Labor Department said.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  |  July 22, 2010; 9:09 AM ET
Categories:  Unemployment  
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Comments

Imagine that another unexpected increase in job losses why is it always unexpected increases since BO and the dems have been in power. The MSM always expected losses when Bush was pres and when jobs didn't increase enough it was always headline news. It would be nice to see some honest reporting for a change but I don't expect that from the jurnolists at the Post. I get so tried of reading left wing propaganda and astroturf.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Anyone ever notice even after additional millions are laid off the "official" unemployment remains 9.9%? Not that anyone is cooking the books. I still remember Bernacke saying there is no housing bubble". Unemployment is over 20% and WaPo knows it. Everryone knows it...print it.

Posted by: robertsgt401 | July 22, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

This isn't due to "struggling" companies. This is due to greedy capitalism.

"Analysts" ignore stories like the ones published a month ago detailing instances of companies like Sony refusing to consider unemployed resumes, assuming if applicants are currently unemployed, they're that way for a good reason.

And these companies are enjoying tax incentives designed by the Obama Administration to entice them to HIRE the unemployed.

Free money for them.

Taking advantage of the current economic climate, corporate America has taken to underpaying those desperate for work.

I'm not surprised Americans are throwing their hands up.

Posted by: zer0lin | July 22, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

P.S.: I remember when Bush reported a ridiculously low "unemployment" rate back in 02-03 because his definition of "employed" was something like working 4hrs/day, 2 days a week for 6/hr, or something stupid like that.

If you're interested, press for the Obama Administration's definition of "employed".

Posted by: zer0lin | July 22, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

This is typical news from the fascist/corporate dominated media and its minions in the country. Corporations are refusing to hire in a racist attempt to destroy the first progressive president in this country's history. What the government needs to do is seize control of these industries and force them to hire people who need jobs. We need a Bolivarian revolution resembling those in South America where the means of production are controlled and run for the benefit of the people not the benefit of the fascist/reactionary/racist corporate behemoths.

Posted by: Pelosiforpres | July 22, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Jobless claims jump higher than expected

What would the headline be if the President had a R instead of D after his name.

Jobless claims takes another major increase due to mismanagement by the Republican Administration.

Posted by: sales7 | July 22, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

It will be good to have unemployment benefits restored for millions of Americans while times are hard despite the GOP priority for giving its Rich patrons Trillions of tax breaks and subsidies instead; but for long range goals Americans want policies that create Jobs and tax incentives for industries that create the Jobs America needs most. Target tax breaks towards USA Industries that create the greatest amount of USA Job growth.

Americans don't want handouts, they want Jobs. With modest federal help, Private Industry can speed up creating the long term sustainable Jobs America needs most. Americans are waiting on the Senate to pass Clean Energy and Jobs legislation;

"Cash for Caulkers"
"Building Star"

, and other Programs that create JOBS and Revenue and saves America money over time. Pay for them by Ending the Bush Era $2 Trillion in Tax Cuts; ending subsidies for polluting fossil fuel industries and increasing the Gasoline tax a modest $.50/Gallon to expand and rebuild Americas roads and infrastructure and put Millions of Americans back to work.

Article: A rail corridor along I-81 that would get traffic and the economy moving again (every $1 invested generates $25 in long term financial benefits):

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/25/AR2010032502404.html

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Oil is a valuable resource. Save it, conserve it, use it wisely, and leverage it to create Jobs and infrastructure. A modest increase of $0.50cents/gallon tax on Gasoline to fund Jobs and Infrastructure is a lot easier than sacrificing an Arm, Leg, Eye, or Life as thousands of our military men and women have and continue to do. When gasoline was $4~$5/gallon only the Oil Industry Profited; Put the Profit and Jobs back to the People of America.

Oil is not cheap for those who have to die so others can profit and waste it. Tax it and fund Job creation; Rebuild and Expand USA Road, Rail, and Transportation Infrastructure (Highways, Bridges, transit, bicycle paths, buses, etc.), and Oil replacement vehicles and technologies. Put a greater emphasis on Wasting less Oil and make what Americans use go Further and Last Longer.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

No jobs
No economic activity
No confidence

A total failure of this administration! Everything is about pork, pet projects, blame, racism, borrowing, spending, but nothing is about the people and nothing is for the people.
One term Congress, one term president!

Posted by: jmk55 | July 22, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Foreign companies in China sound off on business policies

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/21/AR2010072106001.html?hpid=sec-business

“(China) policies known as "indigenous innovation," which essentially requires firms operating here (in China) to transfer their latest technology to China; it also favors homegrown Chinese companies for government business and contracts.

A foreign company here (in China) "has to register its technology in China, innovate in China and, in some cases, make it in China." Without… safeguards of intellectual property, some foreign business leaders are worried that Chinese companies will copy their technology and use it to compete against the foreign firms in the global marketplace.

Technology-based multinational firms -- particularly those involved in telecommunications, aerospace, semiconductors, pharmaceuticals and alternative energy -- are finding China increasingly assertive and more interested than ever in acquiring their know-how. "”

Americans have Subsidized and Sacrificed enough Jobs to help China Job growth. Now it's time to encourage China to play fair and do more than just Talk about China's Currency Manipulation that is costing the USA millions of Jobs. Not the Walmart and dollar store product Jobs, but the big industrial multi-million dollar steel, carbon fiber and technology products. Actions speak louder than words.

S. 1254: Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2009: A bill to identify foreign currency manipulation and apply tariffs to their imported good as is fair to the US consumer:

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-1254

http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-s1254/show

The Fair value for the Chinese Yuan is ¥4/$1 not ¥6.78/$1. An exchange rate of ¥4/$1 makes USA made products more affordable for the Chinese and promotes America based Job growth.

Posted by: Airborne82 | July 22, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

The endless unemployment extensions are hard to justify when I am scraping by having to do whatever it takes to pay my bills. As a “self-employed” / “freelancer” / “independent consultant” for the same company for 5 years I lost my income when the company went bankrupt. . I've cut down everything to the bone and beyond. Sold off personal property. Taken work way below my level, almost entry level. Moved downward in housing. But the “no-work pay” for others keeps getting extended and extended and extended supported by Federal Tax dollars. It leaves a bad taste. Either widen benefits to include the rest of us who did not work on staff or let us all stew in the same thin soup. Maybe more families hung out over the hairy, ragged edge will develop some political will. There is a difference between state and federal unemployment benefits. Federal unemployment benefits extend state unemployment benefits out to 26 weeks. They must be explicitly passed by Congress. They're paid for out of our federal tax dollars we all pay. A law firm should start a class action suit for "us" who have paid taxes but don't qualify for benefits including the 1 year worth of cobra subsidies.

Posted by: barrybailout | July 22, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I voted for Obama and I like him - but he's a rookie and being chewed up by the right wing pros who want nothing more then to bring him down!!! More tax cuts for the billionaires - sure and then cry about the deficits - WHEN IS OBAMA ET AL GOING TO WAKE THE F UP AN REALIZE ITS AN INTERNAL WAR RIGHT VERSUS LEFT AND A COUPLE OF SCUMBAGS LIKE BENNY NELSON AND THE KENT CONRADS WHO LIKE ABOUT DEFICITS but want the cash from them. INSANE trade policies with china have DESTROYED our economic base - our greedy corps who sold out for 50 cent per hour labor workers who never thought about the fact longterm we ex-middle classes'ers are now jobless and poor and cant afford the products they make in China and send back to US stores - I WONT BUY CHINESE products WILL NOT enrich them !!!! I will pay more for USA made - at least I know it helps a fellow AMERICAN. And the SENATE - I pray the 40 rethugs get cancer and suffer the lying pain they have inflicted on us and the 10 or so turncoat conservadems just get a lesser physical illness and suffer pain so severe that they lay in pain and wither away......I love AMERICA where and what has happened to us - and 10 years of war - nation building gimme a freaken break.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I voted for Obama and I like him - but he's a rookie and being chewed up by the right wing pros who want nothing more then to bring him down!!! More tax cuts for the billionaires - sure and then cry about the deficits - WHEN IS OBAMA ET AL GOING TO WAKE THE F UP AN REALIZE ITS AN INTERNAL WAR RIGHT VERSUS LEFT AND A COUPLE OF SCUMBAGS LIKE BENNY NELSON AND THE KENT CONRADS WHO LIKE ABOUT DEFICITS but want the cash from them. INSANE trade policies with china have DESTROYED our economic base - our greedy corps who sold out for 50 cent per hour labor workers who never thought about the fact longterm we ex-middle classes'ers are now jobless and poor and cant afford the products they make in China and send back to US stores - I WONT BUY CHINESE products WILL NOT enrich them !!!! I will pay more for USA made - at least I know it helps a fellow AMERICAN. And the SENATE - I pray the 40 rethugs get cancer and suffer the lying pain they have inflicted on us and the 10 or so turncoat conservadems just get a lesser physical illness and suffer pain so severe that they lay in pain and wither away......I love AMERICA where and what has happened to us - and 10 years of war - nation building gimme a freaken break.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Are the ever just going to say "Unemployment jumped and we expected it, Oh and we will be revising the numbers up at the end of the month." At least I would not be laughing at them.

Every person that is unemployed or cares about the unemployed should be signing this.

http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/the_99ers_need_a_tier_v_added_to_unemployment_benefits

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.

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://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/the_99ers_need_a_tier_v_added_to_unemployment_benefits

I am dropping this link everywhere to gain support for the unemployed. I am doing my part, are you?


Posted by: Tim_incubator | July 22, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Johnson & Johnson actually produces products, while apple sells products made in a foreign country. Which company produced jobs that pay taxes, pays contributes to the social security tax which keeps it alive, and creates jobs that spend money in the USA for other products that generate local sales Taxes. Johnson & Johnson. Apple with all its profits is just an importer. Imports don't create good jobs or do they create taxes to social Security, or benifits to working Americans. The loss of jobs at Johnson % Johnson is more important that Apple jobs being created in China to sell imported products.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

The key to recovery from the recession is getting people back to work. I believe that the unemployment extension was necessary to keep people afloat as they look for work. There are many that I know who have been dropped from unemployment. Some are living out of cars with no where to go. When that happens it's just abount impossible to look for work without a roof over your head.
I can see our society deteriorating day by day. Take a look at how the crime rates have increased; and it's only going to get worse. It will be in everyone's best interest to get people back to work.
What I think should happen is this give people unemployment for 26 weeks or even a year to find work. But, if they don't after that point then they can only continue on unemployment if they earn it, meaning they would have to work for the county or state, in a job that they are qualified to do. What that would do help the county and state fill in spaces where help is needed, and for the unemployed give them some meaningful employment where they can keep their skills up, learn new ones, gain some contacts and recommendations. Anyone who really does not want to work would be dropped. In other words they would have to give back to receive the benefits, and only be paid for the time they work. They don't show they don't get paid. But that would at least give some of them a fighting chance in times like these. Also those self employed individuals who are struggling could also participate, but the same rules apply you work or you don't get paid.
It's possible that many people maybe working some mundane jobs but at least they would be working and contributing to state. Of course it would have to be organized and regulated but we have great computer systems right now where we keep track of the unemployment benefits. This would just be added to the existing software.

Posted by: concerned4211 | July 22, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

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