Wait a minute, I can’t bid my Bush Boom farewell when it never materialized in the first place. Following yesterday’s announcement that planned layoffs shot up to 109,045 in December, today we learn that first-time unemployment claims increased by 43,000 last week. Here’s the Department of Labor’s dry account:
In the week ending Jan. 1, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 364,000, an increase of 43,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 321,000. The 4-week moving average was 333,000, an increase of 750 from the previous week’s revised average of 332,250.
The NY Times’ account sounds a bit panicky to me.
The number of new people signing up for jobless benefits shot up last week, highlighting the sometimes uneven nature of the recovery taking place in the labor market.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that new applications filed for unemployment insurance jumped by a seasonally adjusted 43,000 to 364,000, the highest level since late September. The over-the-week increase of 43,000 was the most since the end of March 2002.
The latest snapshot of the labor market activity surprised economists. They were forecasting claims to rise last week to around 331,000.
However, in a more positive note, the number of claims that had been filed in the prior week turned out to have fallen by 10,000, according to revised figures. That drop was twice as big as initially reported.
The more stable, four-week moving average of claims, which smooths out week-to-week fluctuations, rose last week by a smaller 750 to 333,000.
Tomorrow we will find out how many new jobs were created in December. Some exper-sexpert-choking-smokers are anticipating a disappoining gain of 175,000 new jobs in December. I’m betting that the number revealed tomorrow will be less than the 109,045 layoffs experienced during the same month.