September 10, 2004

A Refreshing Break from Fakegate: Morning Cowbell

Jobless Claims Plummet to 319,000

Slightly stale (it's yesterday's news), but I never got around to it yesterday:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing initial claims for jobless pay fell much more than expected last week, government data showed on Thursday, but bad weather and the Labor Day public holiday buffeted the result.

First-time claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 44,000 to 319,000 in the week ended Sept. 4 from 363,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said.

It was the steepest weekly decline since a 77,000 plunge in the week ended Dec. 8, 2001, shortly after the suicide airline attacks on U.S. cities. A Labor Department analyst said the drop partly reflected a fall in claims from Florida due to Hurricane Charley.

Wall Street had forecast a substantial fall in claims to 346,000 from the originally reported 362,000 the previous week, which had also been influenced by Hurricane Charley.

The four-week moving average of filings, which smoothes weekly fluctuations to provide a better picture of underlying trends, retreated by 3,750 to 339,250 from 343,000.

I shit you not, I really do
have the fever-- and I'm not just
phoning it in this time.

Donate to Ace of Spades HQ.
Because, as Steve Martin says,
what's $20 anyway? Might as well crumple it up
and throw it in the street.

Posted by Ace at September 10, 2004 09:34 AM | TrackBack

Detractors will try to lean on the mild equivocations about the numbers, and seize upon the small drop in the moving average.

But that misses the point.

The rule of thumb is that anything below 400K indicates a good environment, so whether it is 319 or 340, it is still in the range consistent with a strong economy.

Posted by: Phil at September 10, 2004 10:38 AM

I'll play the devil's advocate here and point out recent news that Delta, US Air and Electronic Data Systems will cut some major numbers of workers. (EDS is cutting 20,000 workers).

What is needed is some news about who's hiring. That never seems to make it to the papers.

As long as there's no one to point to, the Dems will continue to hammer the "the jobs we are losing are better than the jobs we're gaining" angle.

Posted by: bryan at September 10, 2004 11:26 AM
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