Weekly Jobless Claims Jump
by Charles Lemos, Thu Aug 19, 2010 at 11:34:14 AM EDT
The news today is as disappointing as it is grim.
New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly climbed to a nine-month high last week, yet another setback to the frail economic recovery.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 500,000 in the week ended August 14, the highest since mid-November, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast claims slipping to 476,000 from the previously reported 484,000 the prior week, which was revised up to 488,000 in Thursday's report.
As of the end of July, the job gap stood at 11.6 million jobs—an increase of 300,000 from the 11.3 million job gap at the end of June. Private employers reported a net gain of 71,000 jobs for July — far below the 200,000 it takes for the unemployment rate just to hold steady and keep pace with the growing work force. The public sector, too, remains troubled. So far this year, state and local governments wrestling with budget shortfalls have shed 169,000 jobs. And further losses are on the way — about 20,000 to 30,000 more job cuts a month expected over the rest of the year, despite $26 billion in Federal aid that was recently allocated by the Congress.
Let's hope that next jobless claim to be filed is that of Timothy "Welcome to the Recovery" Geithner.