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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Doesn't Anyone Talk About Unemployment Claims Anymore?

Doesn't Anyone Talk About Unemployment Claims Anymore?

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Friday, 04 February 2011 06:32

It doesn't seem that the business press is paying any attention to the data on unemployment claims put out by the Labor Department each week. These reports used to generally earn a small story or mention in a larger story on the release of other economic data.

The weekly data are erratic, but they do give a good current snapshot of the state of the labor market. The Labor Department reported 415,000 new claims last week, partly reversing a big jump to 457,000 claims the prior week. The 4-week average edged by 1,000 to 430,000. The economy did not start creating jobs regularly after the last recession, until claims had fallen below 400,000 in the fall of 2003.

Comments (3)Add Comment
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written by izzatzo, February 04, 2011 7:32
The economy did not start creating jobs regularly after the last recession, until claims had fallen below 400,000 in the fall of 2003.


Any economist knows that unemployment claims are just churn canceled out by new jobs in other places, and since the Obama-Immelt Competitiveness Plan will create more net new jobs through Yes-We-Can creative innovation, productivity and lower competitive prices, all boats will float as the rising tide of wealth increases from the supply side as the USA gains market share. It's all about attitude.
Economic Models Sufficient to Guide Effective Regulation of the Economy
written by Ron Alley, February 04, 2011 1:30
This post together with the post below (on temporary employment) raise a significant question -- are the economic models used by the Federal Reserve sufficient to enable the Federal Reserve to meet its goal of maintaining full employment? There seems to be a disconnect between the recovery in terms of GDP and the continued high employment. Mr. Bernanke's comments provide little if any assurance that the Fed is able to predict employment or accurately understand the relationship between GDP and employment data.
What's the Point?
written by beth in OR, February 05, 2011 12:52
I get the sense that employment/unemployment is no longer a factor. Our economic system is dysfunctional. I think there are two economies; one for Wall St. and a less important one for Main St. If the Fed doesn't understand its employment mandate or the employment information, then what makes us think they consider it at all? Perhaps it is no longer relevant?

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.

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