The economic slump continues. Now that the holidays are over, jobless claims are back up.
In a separate report, the Labor Department said initial unemployment claims jumped to 399,000 in the first week of 2012, the highest in six weeks, from an upwardly revised 375,000 in the prior week.
The four-week average of claims also marched higher to 381,750 from 374,000.
The U.S. unemployment rate has fallen sharply in recent months and was 8.5 percent December, but some economists worry the drop has been due in part to discouraged workers dropping out of the labor force. (Read More)
Discouraged workers dropping out of the labor force only partially explains the drop in the unemployment rate? Who are they fooling? The jobs added to the economy are barely keeping up with population growth.
Oh, and do you remember all of the hype about retail sales in December? It was a whole lot of hype over nothing.
Total retail sales increased 0.1 percent after rising by an upwardly revised 0.4 percent in November, the Commerce Department said on Thursday.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales climbing 0.3 percent last month.
The upward revision for November sales suggests consumers likely frontloaded their holiday shopping. The government had initially estimated retail sales gained 0.2 percent in November.
Spending at electronics and appliance stores fell 3.9 percent in December, while shopping at department stores slipped 0.2 percent.
Fueling the overall increase in retail sales during December, receipts for motor vehicles and parts increased 1.5 percent, adding to the prior month’s 0.9 percent gain.
Excluding autos, retail sales fell 0.2 percent, the first decline since May 2010. (Read More)
I just wonder how the media will spin this news to make everyone think the economy is improving under Obama.
Update: Linked by Lady Liberty – thanks!
Linked by Conservative Hideout – thanks!