Economy Alarm: More Signs of a Jobless Recovery

April 8, 2010

More Signs of a Jobless Recovery

U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Increase Unexpectedly

Democrats Claim the Stimulus ‘Saved or Created’ Up to 2 Million Jobs Last Year and Promise to Reach 3.5 Million Jobs By the End of 2010

“The Obama administration, offering evidence that its much-maligned efforts to spur economic recovery have begun to take hold, said Tuesday that the $787-billion stimulus program saved or created 1.5 million to 2 million jobs last year… [Chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors Christina Romer] expressed confidence that the package of tax cuts and government spending — the largest of its kind in U.S. history — ultimately would fulfill President Obama’s promise of boosting employment by 3.5 million jobs by the end of this year.”  (Don Lee and Jim Tankersley, “White House credits stimulus,” Los Angeles Times, 1/13/2010)

“The almost year-old stimulus bill’s progress is ‘on track,’ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) asserted Wednesday… ‘When we passed the Recovery Act nearly one year ago, we pledged to create and save 3.5 million jobs over two years,’ Pelosi said in a statement. ‘This analysis shows that we are on track so far – with only half the money committed.’… Pelosi said further spending out of the stimulus act would mean more of an economic boost to the U.S.” (Michael O’Brien: “Stimulus Bill’s Progress ‘On Track,’” The Hill, 1/12/2010)

Credibility Crash: U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Up 18,000 to 460,000 as Jobless Recovery Drags On


The number of newly laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits rose last week, a sign that jobs remain scarce even as the economy recovers.


The Labor Department said Thursday that first-time claims increased by 18,000 in the week ending April 3, to a seasonally adjusted 460,000. That’s worse than economists’ estimates of a drop to 435,000, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.


The report covers the week that includes the Easter holiday, and a Labor Department analyst said seasonal adjustment for Easter can be difficult since the holiday occurs in different weeks each year.


California also closed its state offices for a holiday March 31, the analyst said, which likely held down the claims figures. On an unadjusted basis, claims rose by 6,500 to nearly 415,000.


Economists closely watch unemployment claims, which are seen as a gauge of layoffs and a measure of companies’ willingness to hire new workers.



The figures underscore that the job market remains weak even as the economy recovers. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday that high unemployment is one of the toughest challenges the economy faces.


While layoffs have slowed, hiring is “very weak,” he said. “We are far from being out of the woods. Many Americans are still grappling with unemployment or foreclosure or both.” (Christopher S. Rugaber, “Initial jobless claims increase unexpectedly,” Associated Press, 4/8/2010)



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