Jobless claims hit highest point since March 2002

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Shogun, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. Shogun
    Offline

    Shogun Free: Mudholes Stomped

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    30,495
    Thanks Received:
    2,224
    Trophy Points:
    1,043
    Ratings:
    +2,260
    WASHINGTON (AP) - The nation's jobs market sent a fresh cry of distress as the number of newly laid off people unexpectedly hit the highest level in more than six years, a Labor Department report showed Thursday.

    The faltering economy and tight credit have forced companies to cut back, and as the job market shrinks, consumer spending may dwindle, too.

    All that spells potentially more trouble for the country later this year as the bracing tonic of the government's tax rebates disappears. "Consumers will be very tight fisted in the coming months," predicted Richard Yamarone, economist at Argus Research. "Nothing shuts down the consumer—and the economy—like the loss of a job."

    Companies are laying off workers as they struggle with slowing customer demand, harder-to-get credit and high costs for fuel and other raw materials.

    New applications filed for unemployment benefits rose last week by a seasonally adjusted 7,000 to 455,000, the department said in its weekly report. That was the most since late March 2002, when the job market was struggling mightily to get back on its feet after the 2001 recession.

    A program to locate people eligible for jobless benefits played a role in last week's increase, a department analyst said. However, the analyst couldn't say how much of a role.

    The latest snapshot of layoff filings was worse than economists expected. They were forecasting new claims to drop to around 430,000.

    The data disappointed Wall Street and the White House. The Dow Jones industrials fell more than 80 points in afternoon trading.

    "The job market isn't strong right now as we work through the downturn in housing and high energy prices. We would like to see more job creation," said White House spokesman Tony Fratto. He credited the government's stimulus program as a helpful cushion.

    To that end, Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, and Costco Wholesale Corp. reported solid sales for July.

    Wal-Mart's sales, however, came in a bit below Wall Street forecasts. And, the company projected sales would slow in August as rebate checks dry up. Many apparel stores including Limited Brands Inc., Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and Pacific Sunwear of California were stuck in a rut.

    "Times are tough so people are husbanding their money," said Bill Cheney, chief economist at John Hancock Financial Services.

    A growing number of economists fear that a pull back by cautious consumers will throw the economy into a tailspin in the final three months of this year.

    That's prompting calls from Democrats, including presidential contender Sen. Barack Obama, to enact a second round of stimulus. The Bush administration has been cool to the notion. GOP presidential contender, Sen. John McCain, favors strengthening the jobs market by helping small businesses and others.

    On the layoffs front, the new filings for unemployment benefits were distorted somewhat by the outreach program to notify people that they could qualify for additional benefits being made available under a new law.

    When people went to state claims offices to apply for these extended benefits, state officials discovered that some were eligible for—but haven't filed for—their initial unemployment benefits, the department analyst said. That accounted for some of last week's increase, he said.

    Even so, that didn't change the broader picture. "The labor market is weak, no doubt about that," said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at High Frequency Economics.

    The number of people continuing to collect unemployment benefits went up by 31,000 to 3.3 million for the week ending July 26, the most recent period for which that information is available. That was the highest since early December 2003.

    MORE

    Jobless claims hit highest point since March 2002


    [​IMG]
     
  2. Chris
    Offline

    Chris Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Messages:
    23,154
    Thanks Received:
    1,958
    Trophy Points:
    205
    Location:
    Virginia
    Ratings:
    +2,089
    Great post....

    The Republican Party is destroying America.
     
  3. indago
    Offline

    indago VIP Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,053
    Thanks Received:
    98
    Trophy Points:
    85
    Ratings:
    +180
    Kirk wrote:
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Republican Party is destroying America.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    So is the Democratic Party

    DEMOLICANS all...
     
  4. editec
    Offline

    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    41,427
    Thanks Received:
    5,598
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Maine
    Ratings:
    +5,617
    In their rush to pander to industrialists and the big monied guys, both parties dug us into a deep hole of unwise policies.

    It's going to take a UNITED AMERICAN PEOPLE to convince them to get us out of it.

    Judging from many of the responses on this board, partisans to the right and left are as yet unwilling to admit that both teams are damned fools (at best)
     

Share This Page