Saturday, July 10, 2010

Don't believe spin regarding jobless claims

Applications for unemployment aid have been fluctuating from week to week, offering an uncertain view of layoffs and the job market.

First-time requests for jobless aid dropped last week to their lowest level since early May, the government said Thursday, erasing increases made in the past two months.

Still, economists say it's hard to detect a trend in one week of declines. Initial claims have seesawed for several weeks and are not much lower than in January.

Elevated unemployment claims, along with last month's weak jobs report and a struggling housing market, have suggested that the recovery is slowing.

Notwithstanding weekly fluctuations, "initial claims . . . are not much lower than in January".

Don't buy the administration's "things are getting better" spin.

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