Continuing unemployment claims decline for 1st time in months

There is an important nugget of information in today's BLS report of weekly new jobless claims.

The weekly claims themselves are stagnating at about 625,000. But the important nugget is about continuing claims which for the first time in months have not increased, but instead declined slightly to 6.73 million.

This is important news because it is evidence of a bottoming process in the recession. Not "good" news, but news that at least things aren't getting any worse in an important metric for average Americans.

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But are we facing a "new" normal.

Paul Volker and others are suggesting that full employment may be lower going forward - unemployment higher. PIMCO is suggesting a "new" normal for economic growth much lower. This all suggests a much lower living standard.

Or perhaps ...

because we have been losing jobs at a record pace for the last 18 months or so that people receiving unemployment insurance are rolling off the benefits. Basically no longer being counted as unemployed nor receiving any support.

Perhaps we should check the welfare rolls?

If you check welfare rolls

check claims vs. those who actually received any assistance. States are denying assistance left and right.

A wierd datum from last night's Knights meeting in Tigard

Tigard, OR: Weird outlying data point; St. Vincent De Paul food bank served 100 fewer families in May; down to 456 from pretty steady 550-600 numbers for the last few months.

More families were asking for rent & electric assistance, though.
Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.

Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.

Corporate Layoffs - NDD read this one

corporate layoffs are down 16% in May, 2009.

Job-reduction announcements were up 7.4% compared with May 2008.

So far in 2009, planned layoffs of 822,282 as tallied by Chicago-based Challenger Gray are more than twice as high as they were over the first five months of 2008, with layoffs having peaked in January at 241,749.

But check out the bottom of the article:

In March, for instance, 2.1 million workers were laid off, representing 1.6% of all workers, according to the latest data available from the Labor Department. Another 1.6 million quit their jobs voluntarily in March

Did the author make a mistake? that is 3.7 million jobs!

Or is this the aggregate? I calculated out the unemployed (official) to be about 6 million, in ADP instapopulist.

Also, note the quote that the lull in layoffs is probably short lived simply because corporations don't layoff much in this quarter, historically. (they like to wait until Christmas, to give everyone that year end holiday treat!)