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October 17, 2013

Computer glitches likely to blame for slightly reduced jobless claim numbers

  • 358K Americans filed jobless claims last week, down roughly fifteen thousand from the six-month peak reported last week, but more than twenty thousand claims higher than the 335,000 that analysts were expecting. Worse, the number could rise, as California is currently struggling with a series of computer woes that have slowed the state’s ability to process new applications. The four-week moving average also rose by nearly 12K to 336,500 weekly claims. source
13:47 // 1 year ago
March 30, 2012

State-by-state, job numbers largely showing positive trends

  • 42 states had added jobs last month — the most in the past year
  • 29 states had decreases in unemployment in the past month
  • 13 states (and D.C.) stayed roughly the same with unemployment
  • eight states had increases in unemployment in the past month source

» Signs of overall improvement: Economists say that the modest growth the economy is showing is decent for now but could show much stronger results later in the year — a theory supported by the rise in consumer spending in February. Most notably, some states which were hard hit by the housing collapse are showing signs of life, including Florida (with an unemployment rate that’s fallen below 10 percent in the past year), Michigan (below 9 percent in part because of the auto industry’s rebound) and California (whose 10.9 percent unemployment is nonetheless much better than it was a year ago). Think the trend will keep ticking upward?

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15:57 // 2 years ago
December 20, 2011

Unemployment fell in majority of states last month

  • 43 states have seen a decrease in unemployment since October source

» As goes the country, so go the states: Or maybe it’s the other way around? Well, either way, figures released today by the Department of Labor show that unemployment, in addition to falling to its lowest level in two and a half years at the national level, also decreased on a state-by-state basis in all but seven states. This is promising, as it suggests that the uptick in employment is a nationwide trend, and not the result of, say, five or ten states doing abnormally well for one reason or another. Note: The usual disclaimers about the problems with how unemployment is calculated apply.

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22:16 // 2 years ago
December 15, 2011

Christmas miracle? New unemployment claims hit 3.5-year low

  • 366,000 the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits last week — a number that’s been on the decline for months
  • 365,000 the number of people who filed during a week in May 2008, the last time that the jobless benefits numbers were quite this low source

» However: Don’t get too excited, guys. While the heavily-fluctuating number is certainly better than it’s been in a long time (and the unemployment number is at its lowest level in a long time), the comeback is far from here. Example: During the financial crisis, the U.S. lost roughly 8.8 million jobs; less than a third of those jobs have returned. On top of this, many are still unemployed, and their benefits could run out soon if Congress does not act on the extension for unemployment benefits. Yeah, sorry we have to be such downers, but let’s look in perspective here.

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11:16 // 2 years ago
September 29, 2011

Jobless claims fall to super-low level … but there’s a catch

  • good news Weekly jobless claims reached their lowest level in nearly six months, which seems like it’s a cause to celebrate, especially since it greatly beat analysts’ estimates. On the surface, it seems like a cause for dancing in the streets, folks.
  • catch However … the Labor Department claims that report is off because of some sort of weird anomaly regarding the calendar, making it harder to seasonally-adjust the numbers. So, things are still crappy for the workforce. source
10:32 // 3 years ago
August 25, 2011

Unemployment claims rise based on a single company’s labor issues

  • what Even though investors were expecting a drop in first-time jobless claims last week to roughly 400,000, they actually went up to 417,000 — up 5,000 from the prior week. Wait a second …
  • why Simple — Verizon workers went on strike, and 8,500 of them filed unemployment benefits (12,500 filed the week before). They’ve since gone back to work, so expect this to change next week. source
10:44 // 3 years ago
March 4, 2011

More on the unemployment figures: Who wants a job, anyway?

  • 6.4 million people not counted in the “labor force” want jobs now
  • 8.9% the percentage of people the U.S. government says are unemployed, according to traditional figures which have been caressed with great care to look as good as possible
  • 12.6% the percentage of people who the government says want a job, but are unable to get one – a number that includes, but extends BEYOND the unemployed source
20:26 // 3 years ago
March 3, 2011

Unemployment: Jobless claims numbers hit three-year low

  • 362,000 the number of new jobless claims – down 20,000 from the week before and overall fairly low
  • May ’08 the last time the numbers were lower than this – with suggests a positive downward trend source
10:19 // 3 years ago
February 4, 2011

Unemployment rate: How did it fall with such low job creation?

  • 36,000new jobs in January (really freaking low)
  • 9.8% November’s really high unemployment rate
  • 9.4% December’s falling unemployment rate
  • 9.0% January’s rate; how did it dip so far? source

» Explaining exactly what happened: We’ve seen three perfectly valid arguments for why this disparity between slow job growth and deep unemployment decline took place. The first is pointed out by a Gallup chart that shows that non-seasonally-adjusted unemployment is actually at 9.8 percent – suggesting seasonal adjustment is skewing the numbers. The second suggested reason is much more sinister-sounding: Unemployment benefits for so-called 99ers are starting to run out, and they aren’t looking for jobs, meaning that they are no longer covered as part of the total amount. Finally, the weather sucked in January, with snow covering most of the country, so that could be a possible explanation too. So, which one is the case, anyway?

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14:19 // 3 years ago
January 27, 2011

Something else to blame on the snow: Crappy job numbers

  • 51,000 the increase in new jobless claims last week, blamed partly on snow
  • 454,000 last week’s jobless claims level – the highest it’s been since October source
11:04 // 3 years ago