One of the few bits of good news from last month’s horrible unemployment report was a slight decline in new jobless claims.
Except it didn’t actually happen. New jobless claims were just “revised” upward by 10,000, so we’re right back to the relatively constant level of enduring disaster.
Funny how these “revisions” are always for the worse. You’d almost think the initial reports are seasoned with a little pixie dust, defraying some of the public outrage until the “revised” numbers come out much later, when people aren’t paying as much attention.
Of course, these elevated jobless claims are being described as “unexpected” by the media, if they bothered to report the story at all. I didn’t see much about it at CNN, the New York Times, or the Washington Post.
To their credit, MSNBC does report the news, without describing it as a stunning surprise. What’s more, they put the new jobless claims in the context of a low-growth economic outlook:
Consumers have pulled back on spending this year, besieged by high unemployment, stagnant wages, and high gas prices.
“Jobless claims are a leading economic indicator. These numbers don’t support the case for having 3.5 to 4 percent growth in the second half of the year that some people had talked about. The economy is moving forward at a modest pace but we don’t seem to be picking up momentum,” said John Silvia, chief economist for Wells Fargo.
We now return to our coverage of the Obama Administration’s non-negotiable demands for more taxes and higher debt, to finance its continuing stewardship of this economic marvel.