Recent Jobless Claims Report: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Recent Jobless Claims Report: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly
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The good news is in today’s jobless claims report is that the number of people still receiving benefits under regular State programs fell drastically to 68,000 in the week ending 4/16 to 3.64 million people.  This is the lowest level since September, 2008.


The bad news is that claims for unemployment benefits rose last week to 429,000, 25,000 higher than the anticipated seasonally adjusted figure of 404,000.  This came as a surprise to many analysts who expected the figure to slip to 392,000. 


Economists say that the jobless claims figure that is under 400,000 indicates a steady growth in jobs, so it appears our economy may be headed for a slow down. 


What concerns analysts is that the 4-week moving average, a better indicator of claim trends climbed to 408,500 from 399,250 the previous week making it the highest average since February.


The ugly news is that the U.S. rate of growth has slowed from 3.1% the end of the 4th quarter last year to 1.8% the first quarter of 2011 as consumer spending slows and our weak government restrains growth in our economy.


It certainly doesn’t help that inflation set to go off the charts with the price of oil over $111/gallon making gas, food costs and other commodities rise to higher levels.  The value of the dollar is at it’s lowest in 3-years which helps exports from the U.S., but makes it harder on the people living in the U.S.


I certainly hope Bernake knows what he is doing by keeping our interest rates so low no one can make any money in T-Bills as it deflates our dollar and creates higher inflation.  The banks are still slow to lend money to consumers and business, so what’s the point of keeping the interest low?  Who really does Bernake’s policy help?



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