Good News, Jobless Claims Rise

In a nutshell, the propaganda wing of the West Wing is still saying ‘the economy is now on a sustainable growth path.’ New unemployment claims rose 18,000 last month. And the four-week average of unemployment claims is 410,750.

The number of people continuing to receive unemployment benefits fell by 47,000 to 4.1 million in the week ending Dec. 25, the department said. That doesn’t include millions of long-term unemployed who are receiving extended benefits from the federal government . . . {emphasis added}

and

Bad weather can also make it harder for laid-off workers to apply for benefits.

So I guess we can expect more. But hey

[A]pplications are far below their peak during the recession of 651,000, reached in March 2009.

All of which sort of belies the headline of the story. “Jobless claims rise, but positive trend intact; Economist: The jobs market, ‘the recovery’s caboose, is starting to catch up‘”

In their mind, the fact that there was only 410,750 new jobless claims last week is good news.

Considering the retail industry is reporting disappointing results in December, there isn’t going to be a whole lot of hiring going on any time soon. This is because the retail industry depends on the last 6 weeks of the year to turn the loss they carry all year into what they expect will be their year-ending profit. Thus the term Black Friday. This year, we had a Black Friday in name only, because if the ink is in the black, it isn’t to the point that any hiring will be going on until next Christmas season. Compounding the business climate is that fact that the FUD Factor is still alive and well. Another not insignificant condition that forces businesses take the cautious route.

Don’t worry, be happy.

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