Not Again! Jobless Claims on the Rise!
Visited many job fairs recently? I have done so off and on for quite a while now. Each time I attend one I notice the same things:
• There are more and more people in attendance at job fairs
• Many bring their children as childcare is out of reach financially
• There are fewer and fewer company representatives at the fairs
• Far more trade schools seem to be present rather than employers
Many people see these same things. I’ve spoken to them. Does it come as any surprise, then, that jobless claims are rising again? Market Watch announced in a September 8th report that “Jobless claims rose to 414,000 from 412,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch forecast claims to rise to a seasonally adjusted 411,000 in the week ended Sept. 3.”
Recent economic reports make the claim that our national economy is stumbling but still standing. This may be so, but also standing are many thousands of unemployed Americans. They stand in lines at Workforce Connection offices. They stand in lines at job fairs. “Standing” is not always especially encouraging. Ask John. Ask Carol. Ask countless others.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke recently told the Economic Club of Minnesota that “The Federal Reserve will certainly do all that it can to help restore high rates of growth and employment.”
While we read that “The latest labor market data confirms that companies continue to focus on cost cutting as a means of boosting earnings. Firms are looking to cut costs as domestic demand stalls,” said Steven Ricchiuto, chief economist of Mizuho Securities USA, there is also encouraging news. The Commerce Department released information stating that in July the trade deficit fell sharply and that US companies are receiving “steady demands from abroad.”
This ray of hope is fleeting as our employment data continues to deliver such sobering news. Can the President’s plan restore that ray of hope? Both economists and job seekers alike are quoted as viewing this with caution. Gary Thayer, chief macro strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors in St Louis said “jobless claim numbers have been stabilizing in recent weeks. We’re probably seeing an economy that’s just growing slowly.” Maybe, but with recent average weekly claims reported to have risen from 411,000 in one week to 414,750 in the next, the battle for parking spots at job fairs, and the long lines of applicants inside do not seem likely to change anytime soon.