Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New Jobless Claims Hit Lowest Point in Obama Presidency

The number of people filing for weekly unemployment assistance for the first time has fallen to below 500,000 for the first time since early January. In fact, the number also represents the lowest number of claims since last September which has resulted in some people being rather optimistic about the direction our economy is heading. As the Washington Post highlights, however, there are still a lot of economists who stress that there still needs to be a lot of improvement even though this is good news.
The number of people filing first-time claims for jobless benefits fell by 35,000 to 466,000, the Labor Department said Wednesday. That was the fewest since the week of Sept. 13, 2008. And it was far better than the 500,000 economists had expected.

Still, analysts say claims must drop to near 400,000 for several weeks to signal actual growth in employment. Economists expect 145,000 payroll job cuts for November, a slight improvement from the net loss of 190,000 jobs last month. But the economy must add 125,000 jobs a month just to keep the unemployment rate from rising.
In a sign that it might take a lot longer than some people expected to recover from the failed policies of the Bush Administration, Paul Krugman wrote a post yesterday that asks a very simple question -- why is it that some people are afraid of promoting the type of action that is desperately needed during these tough economic times.
Disastrously high unemployment, persisting years into the future, combined with inflation consistently below the Fed’s 2 percent target (and I’d argue both that the prediction is too high and that the target is too low).

Why is this considered OK, as opposed to desperately requiring action? Bear in mind that the predicted unemployment rate in 2012 — 2012! — is higher than the rate that let Bill Clinton run on “it’s the economy, stupid”.
I think the answer is rather obvious at this moment -- the right wing of the Republican Party is winning the messaging battle. They've been able to cast any government spending as the gateway to socialism even though it's simply the best way to help stimulate our economy and set it on the pathway to stabilization. This is why it is so important for people who support standing up for working families to let their elected officials know that their constituents support taking the action that's needed to improve our economy. If you don't, the Tea Party activists will succeed in preventing any action from being taken.

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